Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Platinum Rule




This moment of seriousness brought to you by Jim …

… yes, I am capable of writing something serious… 

I took a break tonight from my gaming-related blogging to comment on the real world.  I have a blog, so I'm allowed.  

There's a lot of awful stuff going on in the world right now.  I don't need to detail it out, and I'm not trying to start a debate about the "why" or even the "how."  I can see plenty of that in my social media feeds right now already.  Not that I don't have a personal viewpoint and perspective, but I'll leave that to private conversation to discuss.

When something terrible happens in the world, anger and outrage always follow.  This is totally natural, and even understandable.  While much of this anger is about "what" has happened, I think a lot of it has to do with the feeling of being helpless.  Something major just happened in the world, and more likely than not, we have no direct way to make a change.  So we turn to our friends and colleagues, or to family, or to social media.  We proclaim our points of view, snarl at these friends and family, and turn our backs on people who don't share our viewpoints.  Perhaps this makes us feel less helpless.  At least we're doing something, right?

But we're not helpless, even if we are thousands of miles away from the horrible things going on in the world.  There is something completely unoriginal yet surprisingly difficult, that we can do, something that will change the world…

… oh, and by the way, we can do it at no cost!  

Be kind.

Seriously, that's it.  

Be kind to everyone.  And not just the "smirk" and say "hey" to a cashier kind of kind.  Go out of your way to make someone happy today.  I'm not the first person to suggest this, but I'm seeing a lot of folks who are not being kind… which is why we all need a reminder.  

So there's this thing called the "Golden Rule" right?  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  Not a fan.  

Seriously, I'm going to come right out and say that I'm not a fan of the Golden Rule.  But give me a second to explain.  

In this day and age I think we need to go beyond the Golden Rule.  The Golden Rule is a terrible goal line.  No one is perfect, so even if you try to follow the Golden Rule 95% of the way, there's this 5% gap.  Ultimately you are treating people 5% less than you'd like to be treated yourself.  

Do the math.  Or don't do the math, this is more or less just an analogy.  I'll take suggestions for better comparisons.  But I'm getting away from the point.

Platinum is worth more than gold… I learned this by playing Dungeons & Dragons.  So I propose a new rule… the Platinum Rule.  "Treat your fellow humans better than you'd like to be treated yourself."  See that word "better" that I added in there?  I like the sound of that one.  Or perhaps, "Treat everyone around you 150% better than you'd like to be treated."  See, that one has a number, so maybe its a better target.  

Let's all try this today.  Not tomorrow, because tomorrow is always too late.  Also, since its always today and never tomorrow, tomorrow technically doesn't exist…

… mind blown, right?

If you are kind to someone, they will be more inclined to be kind to someone, and then they will be more inclined to be kind to someone, and so on and so forth.  It's like that quarter-drop game at the Wildwood, New Jersey boardwalk.  You drop a quarter hoping that it pushes another that pushes another and you get cheap tickets that you can trade for cheap prizes…

… but with the Platinum Rule you don't get cheap prizes… 

… you make a positive impact on someone else's life.