It goes by so many names, expressed throughout all of time and all of civilization; all religions and all philosophies: “…et prout vultis ut faciant vobis homines et vos facite illis similite.” – “And just as you wish others to do for you, do also the same for them.” One sentence that is not a commandment but simple advice, which, if followed, would bring an end to all the misery we have imposed upon ourselves.
Yeah, right. We all know that. Better yet, every generation, every civilization before us knew that. Never happened. Never will. We all know that for sure!
And yet, logically, unless you want to bring up an anarchist (not necessarily a Gavrilo Princip variety, nevertheless, a radical of some very-odd-indeed sort, e.g. trouser-are-fascist! down-with-the-trousers! or such alike) some rules must be established, taught, enforced. Right? Right. Now, if there are rules to be had, what better than this particular one? Truly, is there even one out there to compete? Does anything known to men come anywhere near it? I suppose not. Not that I’m all that learned; quite to the contrary. But, we’ve all heard of the Golden Rule, so, if there was one even better, how could we possibly not know of it?
Enough philosophizing – yet another headache’s afoot. Let’s just sum it up:
Knowingly and willfully I want my child to turn into a Don Quixote. Fight the hopeless fight. Always, every time, every instant. Somewhere between the potty training and the parallel parking I want to squeeze in the “do unto others” lesson. Do the right thing because it is right. Right.
Did I just declare I wish my child to be a loser?
Shouldn’t I instead be preparing a curriculum for the University of Hard Knocks, Department of Rubber Conscience and Iron Elbows?
Because, after all, if you are to be serious about it, if you think about it for a serious moment, it actually is one or the other, isn’t it? There isn’t really a whole lot of middle ground there.
You’re either the sucker that everyone smiles at and pats on the back while they pass you by in line for everything, since you’re holding the door / helping with heavy lifting / showing the way to the lost instead of tripping or pushing down the stairs whoever is within your reach, or, you’re the one getting ahead (by means just mentioned); at least in this world. But it is this world that my daughter is about to be born into.
I’ll leave that one without a 5-cent conclusion. I can always say the words. That’s not all that important here. What’s important is choosing the right thing and sticking by it every day for the next, oh, twenty or so years. What do I do? Do I teach, do I preach, or do I just stay still? And hope, just hope that she will want to be like me; and do I have the right to want that? Would it really be the best thing for her?
Is mine the right way, anyway?
I’ve envied this man ever since the day I took this picture. Now I do so more than ever – isn’t the Golden Rule easier to adhere to among the sheep and green pastures than it is in the concrete jungle, where there seem to only be wolves? After all, homo homini lupus est!