What’s that? It is one to which the old catch phrase applies – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Or is your business the cynical opposite? “Do unto others before they do unto you.”
I prefer the former. I meet both kinds of businesses and people. And worse.
A careful consideration of the chapter from which the catch phrase comes (the Biblical Luke 6) reveals much more. This is teaching is NOT only meant for those who accept or follow the Bible. It really is meant for everyone. It holds society to a higher standard. It holds us to a higher standard. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. The phrase, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise,” is in the middle* and is not the focus of the instruction.
What is the focus? Our enemies! In fact, especially our enemies. We are to be kind, we are to return good, we are to be gentle, and extend mercy, and not condemn, and … it goes on. Don’t think it means for us to take it and take it no matter what. There is a lot of wariness suggested too. We shouldn’t be dope punching bags. But we are to extend ourselves as examples of a higher standard and therefore not as blind guides. This is a very tough standard.
Imagine a world in which that standard was the standard!!
• I would see insulation that is carefully installed, to last.
• I would see nails properly applied for that which they are intended.
• I would see doors and windows flashed so they would never leak.
• I would see shingles and flashing and gutters and downspouts installed so a house will be consistently dry.
• I would see careful carpentry, proper plumbing, smooth sheetrock, pretty paint, lovely lacquer, hearty hardware, flowing floors, exceptional electrical, healthful HVAC and sturdy stuff.
• I would see little things that are carefully-done things.
• I would see houses made for the long run.
• I would see…
• I would see…
• I would see…
And I would be proud. I would be proud to be able to say (finally), “You have an exceptional house here! I am so happy for you! It is safe, and dry, and beautiful to look at. Everyone has done their best!”
We can do our best and still screw up. Everyone needs room to grow. We are imperfect people. But an unintentional error is a million miles from schmuck work. A million miles from I-don’t-care work. Or it’s-not-my-job work. And I-sure-am-glad-this-isn’t-my-house work.
How should we do it? “Good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over... for every tree is known by his own fruit.”
My recommendation: That we make a New Year Resolution to conduct business unto others as we would have them conduct business unto us… The Rule is Golden for a reason. Imagine …
* The teaching begins with verse 27 and ends with 46, which really is the beginning of the next teaching. I had GREAT trepidation publishing this.
Being preachy is not my intention – if anything, I am venting. Hopefully you read it in that context.