Welcome to Ravenna’s Monday Mumblings!!
In that fairy tale by Aesop about a goose that laid golden eggs, the couple who owned the goose got greedy and cut her open, thinking they’d have all the golden eggs instead of waiting for her to lay one each morning. Only her eggs were just that – eggs. So now they had a goose they could eat but no more golden eggs.
The moral of this story? Too much greed results in nothing.
So what does a fairy tale about greed have to do with the Golden Rule? My college English professors did the same thing you’re doing right now. Rolled their eyes at my compare and contrast essays.
The Golden Rule comes from the Bible, but every culture and religion has their own form of it. In its simplest language, it says treat others the way you want to be treated. BOOM.
Pretty simple, no? It should be.
You act like a douche to people online for whatever reason – doesn’t really matter why. Then you should expect people to treat you in kind for their own reasons. Doesn’t matter what they are.
You promise someone you will do X, Y, or Z for them, and when, but fail to deliver on that promise, or give them the courtesy of a reason why. Then you should expect the same treatment in return. If you get pissed off about it, you’re an idiot. After all, you did the same thing to someone else, remember?
So what happened to all that turn the other cheek stuff?
I’m not talking about someone DELIBERATELY treating you in the same way you treat them. I’m talking about KARMA. Those times when you’re an ass to people and then others are asses to you. Yeah. THAT. You sit around and whine… WHY ME? What did I do? Oh, how easily you forget.
In a way, that goose was fulfilling the promise of the Golden Rule. The couple had it made. Every morning that goose laid an egg that kept them in comfort and luxury. All they had to do was wait until the sun came up. But they wanted more. They got greedy. And once they killed their precious goose, they had nothing left.
The promise of the Golden Rule, Karma, or whatever you want to call it, is that you will receive the same treatment from others as you bestow on mankind. Plain and simple. The couple committed ansercide (I made that up. Geese are from the genus anser), and were in turn answered with the death of their dreams and their wealth.
(See how I made that work?)
How many times have we seen this played out on social media? Not the killing of a goose. The mistreatment of others, be they authors, readers, or simply cyber friends? Too many times. And how many times have we then seen the perpetrator of the Mean Girls behavior whine and moan about how badly they were treated in turn? Yeah. About the same.
Fairy tales exist for a reason. They tell a story that transcends time and is applicable down through the ages. The Golden Rule is a compass by which anyone can live. It ensures we rise above the dregs and hold our heads high, no matter what. To quote our former First Lady, “When they go low, we go high.”
You want to be the most popular belle at the ball? That doesn’t come from posting 24/7 and giving away so much free stuff to your readers that you need a second income just to keep up with it. It doesn’t come from tagging 1,000 friends to make sure they SEE that tenth post you just put up about the newest contract you signed, because you NEED them to comment on it to stroke your ego. And it doesn’t come from shouting at the top of your lungs every time you write another paragraph on your WIP.
All that stuff is just NOISE after the first few dozen times. People are scrolling right past it. Trust me on this one. I’m one of those rolling my eyes and scrolling on by…
Practicing the Golden Rule without becoming GREEDY is quiet. It’s in the shadows. It’s unobtrusive. It’s anonymous a lot of the time. It’s gentle, like a breeze, not like that hurricane down south. It’s always there, in every tiny thing you say and do. Each post, each “like,” each thank you is done not to draw attention to YOU, but to lift up someone else. To showcase THEM, not to shout “LOOK AT ME! LOOK HOW WONDERFUL I AM!”
Does it pay off? Yes. Not in ways you might immediately see, but overall. In the long run. Where it counts. This isn’t a sprint. It’s a JOURNEY.
Some last words of advice, special snowflake. People don’t exist to give you praise, free shit, or unconditional devotion even when you’re an ass to others. We all exist to lift others up. That, right there, is what the Golden Rule is all about. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Until next week, Happy Writing!!