Most of us have probably heard of the golden rule, which is: treat others the way you want to be treated.
It sounds great, in theory, but how many of us actually practice it in our data-to-day lives? I sure wasn't until I imagined the scenario I'm going to describe in this article. I sometimes think of it if I catch myself lacking thoughtfulness towards others.
Go with me here on a quick thought adventure... what if it turns out that reincarnation is real?
I'm not saying that it is true, or that it isn't, but let's pretend as an experiment that reincarnation is real and see where it leads. When you die, your soul goes into a new being and you just keep getting recycled over and over again in a never-ending process.
What if somehow reincarnation happened outside of time so you could be reincarnated into the past?
It doesn't seem like much of a stretch to me to think that if reincarnation were real, the actual process might occur outside of the normal rules of time that govern somebody living one specific life. This raises the interesting possibility that your next incarnation could be in the past rather than the future.
Reincarnation would span into animals as well, possibly plants.
People who believe in reincarnation typically believe that they can be reincarnated in their future lives as an animal just as easily as a human being. If reincarnation were possible, there doesn't seem to be any reason to think that the incarnations would be limited to only a human form.
So it's possible that there is only one being?
If you could reincarnate outside of time, into both the past and future, without a limit on how many times you get reincarnated, and you could get reincarnated as any sort of being, I started to wonder if perhaps there was only one being in the first place.
Maybe I come back as every being that will ever exist in the future. Maybe I come back or have already come back as every being that has ever existed up until this time. Maybe. It's certainly possible based on my understanding right now.
So what's the point of all this?
The point is that everyone you meet might be a future or past incarnation of yourself. If you're being rude to them, you're making your own future life worse for yourself. Remember this scenario the next time you are interacting with someone and you are tempted to mistreat them. Think to yourself:
"What's it going to be like when I'm living that person's life?"
Almost always, I immediately start to have more compassion for the other person. Because I'm shifting my perspective to actually think about what the other person is experiencing, from there it's only natural to treat them how I would want to be treated. This whole discussion reminds me of the expression:
"If I were you, I'd probably feel exactly the same way."
We all have different experiences with our lives and, therefore, different perspectives. But if we could remember that we'd probably be acting the same way the other person is if we were dealing with their same set of issues and experiences, we would probably all treat each other better than we do now.
Hopefully this article has provided you with a simple tool to consistently implement the golden rule in your own life. If you do, I think you will find that the increased positivity you are radiating out will bounce back and return to you in unexpected ways. Be well!
The Golden Rule, of course, is due unto others as you would have them do unto you. The golden rule book is also known as the golden rule bible. There are also references to Confuscious mentioning the golden rule. This article is also helpful to someone who might be asking themself: "what's the golden rule?" Occassionally people call the same thing the gold rule or the golsen rule because of mistyping.