This is an opposite opinion to a post that friend Michael Kwan wrote based on a comment I made on Beyond the Rhetoric the other day. The post uses an example:
You’re at the local watering hole and you notice a guy sitting at the end of the bar. He’s all by himself and it looks like he hasn’t exactly had the best of days. Acting out of empathy, you walk over and try to engage in a conversation with him, hoping to relieve him of some of his worries. – Emphasis added
There is a difference between empathy and respect as the basis of the Golden rule. Empathy is the direct identification with, understanding of, and vicarious experience of another person’s situation, feelings, and motives. Whereas, I can identify with someone else, but the Golden Rule isn’t about identifying with them, it’s respecting them and their wishes so that they will do the same for you.
I believe in the Golden Rule of treating others as you want to be treated. My idea of the Golden Rule is that it is based on our need or want to be respected by others. There are many different thoughts, and views about the Golden Rule; but I believe they all revolve around respecting each other. People mirror your attitude when you deal with them. It is a basic principle of martial arts that you diffuse a situation by mirroring calm, friendly, happy at someone that is agitated. You give them nothing but respect and it will wear off on them leading to a peaceful resolution.
In a school situation you can compare this to Kelso rules of dealing with people in situations, to helping students learn to deal with each other in a group setting. If you teach children to listen to others, to be tolerant of others opinions, to respect others no matter what they do, what race they are, or religion you will have given them the best gift you could give them, “the Golden Rule.”
The Golden Rule is Right, if you apply it in the correct context. Aretha Franklin says it best RESPECT