I am 41, almost 42. Of all the things I have learned and am having to learn still, The Golden Rule is still the one most important one I think should be kept in mind. We all know the rule....treat others as you would be treated, right?
This rule applies in so many ways in so many situations and we continually see it being played out in the news everyday.
I was reading the news blurbs this morning, sipping my poor man's mocha, when I stumbled over a news report from the Netherlands. It seems an order of priests there during the 50's and 60's liked to mistreat boys in their care. Now, 60 some odd years later, the priests still alive are having to answer for their crimes.
First, how the hell could you do this to a child? Isn't that another grown man who wants to rub up against a man next to you? Leave the boys alone! Second, I hope the guilty men get the prison sentences to end their lives that they deserve. Third, I also hope the order they were in gets the financial penalties it deserves. Last, I hope the victims get the peace of mind they deserve. Enough said.
This brings me to the point where it touches my life. I have brothers. Many of them. Some better than others, but all of them loved. But some of the events that took place over the years still stick in my mind. I have one particular brother in mind, who shall remain nameless, who was quite mean when it served his purpose. He had a temper like all of us (we learned it from our dad), and he used it to his advantage at times. I specifically remember being made to make him sandwiches (MAKE ME A SANDWICH!) when he was watching over us at times. Of course, we would object, and when we did, he would beat on us. Lovely, huh? We, myself and my other two young siblings, were left in his care and received violent treatment at his hands instead. He even beat my sister up at least once when she stood up for us.
That was a long time ago and although, I really don't suffer any noticeable effects now, I still remember it. I does not sit well with me, but not because it happened. It doesn't sit well with me because not only has he never acknowledged it was wrong or tried to make amends, instead he finds it humorous. In fact, although he has had good moments, and I don't think he is an evil person, he has done a lot of low down things to me personally that just rub me wrong.
This brings us back to the Golden Rule. He made his bed and now he gets to lay in it.
So the last couple of years, he let me borrow one of his vehicles. I had it and drove it for a year and a half. I performed some maintenance on it and upgraded some of the parts on it to keep it running and help it run even better. And I was supposed to be paying him a nominal fee each month for the use of said vehicle.
Now, as he has the car back and communicates with me now and again about the money he thinks I owe him for the use of the car, I give him the same treatment he gave me growing up. I am treating him just like he treated myself and my siblings over the years.
I simply reply, "Make me a sandwich."
He hasn't decided to talk to me about my stance yet. But if and when he does, I am not looking forward to the conversation. I will tell him how I feel and why exactly I have been acting the way I have. I may or may not pay him the money and that will depend solely upon whether he has learned the lesson I am trying to teach him.
It will depend upon whether he understands The Golden Rule, yet. Until he has learned it and tried to make amends, the only thing he will get from me is, "Make me a sandwich."
4 weeks ago