We have all heard the “golden rule” at some time in our lives. That’s because “treat others as you want to be treated” is a simple, yet important message. It provides a philosophy of life that serves as a guide to being a benefactor of humanity.
There are two major problems with it, however. One, it has become incredibly cliche. It’s been so overused that few listen to it anymore, and it has thus lost all of its meaning and value. Two, would you want Harry Houdini to trap you in a large water-filled trunk, shackled in chains?! So, let’s take a step back and examine what this rule really stands for, so that maybe we can find a new definition.
All of us have a desire to be treated fairly, loved, and understood. This is something we are born with. Intuitively, we know this, and when we apply the golden rule we foster a fair, loving, and understanding world by treating others in this way. This is the concept of sustainability – acting in a way that nurtures a healthy environment for all things to thrive. In its essence, the golden rule tells us to act sustainably.
So, upon examination, the golden rule stands for more than it seems. It can be applied to more than people — to animals, the planet, and anything else. And how does this apply to self-care? Acting in a way that supports a sustainable world — whether that be being kind to others or picking up trash — is a loving gesture. And self-care is an act of self-love. Since your outward actions are often a direct reflection of your feelings about yourself, acting sustainably can help you with a more loving attitude toward yourself and motivate you to prioritize your self-care.