A few days ago, I heard someone say “I treat people accordingly”. The context was that you should treat people according to how they treat you. If people treat you with respect, you respect them. If they are selfish, you return the favor and act selfishly. If they cheat, you cheat. An eye for an eye of sorts. I understand this theory because I’ve tried living it myself for quite some time. There is no denying that there is immediate relief in treating people accordingly. It’s our instinct to protect ourselves from unnecessary harm or heartache. But the problem with living a reactionary lifestyle where you wait to see how someone treats you before you know how you’ll treat them, is that you level the playing field. When you react to others, you subject yourself to losing control of your happiness. You let others dictate your mood. You bring yourself down to their level instead of challenging them to rise to yours. The golden rule was engraved into my childhood.
There is no denying that we live in a world full of hatred. The political left is against the right, this country hates that country, these people hate those people. When you live your life reacting to the world around you, you only fuel the hate. The simple fact is, not everyone you encounter will treat you the way you were raised to treat people. Not everyone has the same values or morals as you. Not everyone lives for the same reasons you do. That sucks and its our instinct to treat people accordingly, but fight that urge.
I urge you to turn the tables. Go back to the golden rule and treat people the way you want to be treated, even if they don’t treat you that way. People have betrayed me and it sucks. People have crossed me, and that stings. Some people treat me like shit regardless of how well I have treated them. I wear my heart on my sleeve and people have taken advantage of that, but I will continue to do it anyway. Why? Because that is who I am and no one will change that. That is what makes me different than those who have mistreated me. I was raised differently and I choose to live differently.
I won’t react to the world around me because honestly, the world around me sucks. If I lived that way I would never be happy. I would become engulfed in the negativity. I want to change the world. I want to show people the happiness and peace you can find when you live your life based on your own personal values and principles instead of reacting to the lack of others.
The way you treat people is everything. The only way to make the world a better place is to live a life for others, regardless of if they choose to do the same. Live a life full of respect, integrity and passion. Treat people the way you want to be treated and challenge those around you to do the same.
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