Don’t Do Me Like That

Apart from living by universal ethical principles, the highest functioning level in our world is found in living according to a social contract.  This agreement is summed in the principle of the Golden Rule (which is indeed the teaching of Jesus), or, vulgarly, “do unto others.”  While it is not always true that good deeds are rewarded (some would say they are punished), it is more likely that we will receive good if we treat others well.  It makes all kinds of sense that the world would be a better place if only we gave what we wish to receive.  People are far more alike than they are different, so personal taste will play small part in determining our actions.  We all have basic needs.  A multitude of desires bear on this principle.

People want honesty.  This is as true of the dishonest as it is of the honorable.  Nobody likes to be lied to, and the deceptive will, sometimes, take great umbrage at being deceived.  It cannot be denied that stolen waters of deceit are sweet to the taste, but people despise thieves while themselves thieving.  Such honesty is not a matter of words alone.  While it involves spoken communications, it is more reflective of the general tone of life which conveys authenticity.  A person that has nothing to hide is refreshing to encounter and a welcome addition to anyone’s rolodex of friendships.  Innocence lost finds truthfulness hard to come by, but each of us wishes to return to days when everything was new.

People want respect.  We want to be treated as if we matter and are important.  Life can be blunt, and people can be brutal.  A type of soul-poverty can enter the life of one disregarded, and the deficit can bleed internally and break out onto others.  It is true that some will demand respect (legitimately or not), but we most often seek affirmation and regard freely given which is most satisfying to the mind.  This acceptance will occur on levels.  It is not possible or reasonable to grant unconditional reverence to one slightly known, but a modicum of respect should be given to people at the outset as fellow humans and creations in the image of God.  From this point, honor is earned as esteem grows through experience.

People want love.  First, people want to give love.  We long to give of ourselves and experience the emotion.  Some are better at loving than others, and love is not always requited, but it is better to have misplaced love than none at all.  Love is the sweet ache that will not go away, and each of us yearns to be torn pure and chaste from afar.  Second, people want to receive love.  There is a desire in the human heart to be wanted- by someone.  This may be seen as a matter of degree, and not all will seek the same expressions of desire, but it is not good (generally speaking) that people remain alone.  We want to be able to offer and to accept the greatest emotion and find ourselves unfulfilled without appropriate inlets and outlets.

Our God is the Author of the highest levels of functioning.  His character is enshrined in universal ethical principles which define goodness and righteousness.  They are borne out in the lives of people who love, serve and honor God with their complete hearts, minds and strengths.  His Son taught us to live peaceably with others and in a social contract of divine origin.  People are to see the human family bound together as the creation of God and are never to treat one another as less than themselves or in any manner in which they would not personally like to be treated.  In all things, grace is to be the watchword of human comportment as we realize that we are each recipients of the matchless grace of Jesus.   

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