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Posts Tagged ‘Golden Rule’


I have told some folks that I follow a ‘modified’ version of the golden rule.  It goes as follows:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…

…until they give you cause to do otherwise!

Well, I was thinking of this further today and considered the possibility of expanding upon this expansion of the traditional canon to give a suitable decorum for ‘doing’ whenever there are ‘others’ involved.  Thus I bring you:

A Modified ‘Golden Rule’ for an Enlightened Contemporary Age

  1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you — until they give you cause to do otherwise.
  2. When you do unto others, it is recommended to seek permission if what you are doing will in anyway not be a welcome act to the others that could be involved.
  3. If you desire to do in a manner that will inevitably involve others,  it is wise to only do that for which you have the proper moral or legal authority or at least sufficiently reasonable justification for any actions you may undertake.
  4. If anything you are about to do may effect others in a manner that will lead them to challenge your authority or question your justifications (especially if such complaints may be levied to anyone with the authority to do untoward things to you as a result), it is wise to give forewarning to anyone that may suffer any effects that might motivate such challenges so they have the option to avoid them.
  5. If what you plan on doing is of the nature that it does not lend itself to giving warning or seeking permission and will inevitably inspire complaints when its having been done is ultimately discovered, seek to minimize the witnesses of your actually doing it as much as possible.
    *Editor’s Note:  When doing anything ‘to someone’ as a response to something done ‘to you’, especially in the case of anything that could potentially be viewed as negative, it is a generally accepted principle that doing ‘more’ than was done to you will significantly reduce the ability to claim moral authority or reasonable justification for having done it.  Thus it is an unwritten rule of this list that:
    “When doing unto others because they have done unto you, avoid doing more than was done to you. “
  6. If  you still intend to do something that may evoke a negative response from others and either your warnings are not heeded or those who may be potentially effected are either unwilling or unable to avoid the consequences, it may be helpful to communicate very clearly to anyone involved just what you are ‘willing to do‘ in the event anyone should choose to bear false witness against you.
  7. Finally, if you are unable to adhere to the prior 6 rules but still intend to do something to others for any reason that may result in more doing unto you that you would rather not ‘have done‘, it should go without saying in any such instance: ‘Do not get caught!!!’

Now to quote Dr. Laura, “Go do the right thing!”

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