Every year, if you are like me, we make a list of resolutions to concentrate and ‘align’ our intentions for the New Year. I am actually one of those characters who love making resolutions – and I post them front and center on my desk. They help me stay focused. And at the end of the year – it is cool to look back and see what we have accomplished. I hardly ever make 100%; yet, the % I do make, is better than not having ‘moved’ at all.
This year, with the challenges we face individually and collectively I looked for just one resolution on which we could all focus. One stood out to me in a macro sense given the challenges we all face. It is not a ‘new’ resolution – rather a ‘mantra’ for living. The resolution I challenge each of us take on with a fresh attitude is:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Lest you think I am now heading into another ‘woo-woo’ spiritual tone and you hit the delete button or the ‘scroll down’ key to the ‘last word’ – let me give just two thoughts why I believe this ‘resolution’ could, in fact, change each and every one of our lives in 2009 – particularly if we are all conscious about it with each and every decision we make.
This is a Universal principle. Most of us know that the Golden Rule is the cornerstone of all religious understanding. In 1989, Jeffrey Moses wrote a book, Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions, Revised and Expanded Edition. In his book, he provides an exemplary summation of the common principles across all scriptures – regardless of religion. He provides little interpretation, to allow the scriptures from all major faiths’ scriptures to speak for themselves. The Golden Rule is one such principle. For ‘The Golden Rule’, just look at the commonality across faiths (directly from Oneness, Jeffery Moses):
What is hurtful to yourself, do not do to your fellow man. That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary. Judaism
Do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you; reject for others what you would reject for yourselves. Islam
Hurt not others with that which pains yourself. Buddhism
Do unto others as you would have them to unto you. Christianity
Tzu King asked: “Is there one principle upon which one’s whole life may proceed? The Master replied, “Is not Reciprocity such a principle? – What you do not yourself desire, do not put before others. Confucianism.
This is the sum of all righteousness – Treat others, as though wouldst thyself be treated. Do nothing to thy neighbor, which hereafter, Thou wouldst not have they neighbor do to thee. Hinduism
Our world is, in fact, a melting pot. We are all different and, thankfully in my country, we have the freedom to celebrate those differences. We continue to merge, share, and collaborate – more in this century than ever before. Yet, we also fight, compete, terrorize, and disparage; and, with ‘thanks’ to our electronic and advanced world, this has become easier, more expedient and powerful.
Thus, my thought is that this one resolution – with its most succinct and omnificent directive, could (and will) in fact change how we see and treat each other – not just in our own backyard (though a great place to start) yet, across all nations. Sure, we are not all exactly alike (thank goodness), yet caring and respecting each other is the first step to alignment and enlightenment as a human race.
At this point, this blog most certainly sounds a little ‘high level’ and not worthy of being described as a resolution…..sort of like a resolution around world peace or world hunger! To add insult to injury, being a corporate executive coach and consultant, many may be wondering if I have had too much egg nog over the past week – as what is the relevance to me, my job, and my career?
What is the real point? What in the world does this have to do with alignment? Sure, we all know this principle – and we do try to live this way in our lives. Get real: we live in a real world, and we have to look after ourselves and our families, our businesses. This is an aspirational and completely idealistic resolution. We all try – and that is as good as it gets.
You are right. I get it. Yet, my question to all of us is this … what if we really made this our #1 goal, objective, intention, resolution? What could happen?
Here’s a real world application:
The GM, Chrysler, or Ford executive who has to lay off his/her entire team this year, what does he/she do? How is it handled? With compassion? With real concern? Or the party line complete with severance, out-placement services and a plaque for length of service, and little else? What if they really listened, really heard, and really understood where the other person is? What is they took a personal interest, rather than delegating this to the HR department? How would their treatment to these individuals be changed?
The Republican who has dug his/her heels in against the newly elected Democratic administration, how does he/she act? Truly open to discussion? Sincerely open to negotiation? Or the party line complete with back door maneuvering? What can be gained through listening to the other side? What can we learn? How would you want to be treated if you were on the other side?
The person facing surgery (or a guardian for someone who is), and who doesn’t have the right insurance papers filled out or they may not even have the right insurance (don’t get me started on this – that is another blog) for the procedure. You are the administrator, the doctor, the nurse – or heaven forbid the insurance agent or health insurance customer service representative – how do you handle this? What is your true intention? How would you want to be treated if you were on the receiving end of this news?
The Democrat who has new found power and is intent on ‘showing who is boss’ and ‘who is finally getting what is deserved and earned’, how do they conduct themselves with this new-found power? Collaborative? Accusatory? Defensive? Open? Pious? How would you want to be treated if you were on the other side of the equation? Go back through the past 8 years, how did you feel? How can this be turned into a positive on how to approach those individuals in January?
The middle manager in any one of a number of Fortune 50 companies (Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Motorola, etc.) who has luckily managed to land on his/her feet amidst many layoffs; knighted the new leaders with control and power, with tough decisions on whom to keep /who to let go, strategies to deploy; what do they do? How is this handled? What is the priority? Compassion? Self-interest? How would you want to be treated, if you weren’t so fortunate, if you just had to hand over the reins to another person?
Net: We have all been in compromised positions. Trust me: we will all continue to be in compromised positions. This is the human condition. At some point in our lives, we will be taught – on one or both ends of the position. How we deal with these positions, on either end of the equation, is the lesson. How we treat others is the gig – and it will always come full circle.
So, if this resolution seems idealistic. It isn’t.
If not us…who? If not now….when?
Words are cheap – and actions can be hard. Sounds easy; yet, we know from our lives to date….it isn’t.
We have an incredible – an incredible – opportunity to take our tremendous challenges in 2009 and completely CHANGE the energy around them.
We can learn from each other. We can unite and scale this financial, political, global mountain together.
2009 is a new year – and a new opportunity for each of us, individually and collectively, to align our thoughts, words , and deeds to truly live up to the principle of treating others as we would want to be treated.
Let’s pull together and ‘align’ our thoughts and intentions around this principle. I know we can truly make a difference if we do so – individually, collectively, organizationally, nationally, and globally.
With best intentions for a fully “Aligned 2009”!