It has been stated in Jesus’s Golden Rule, Matthew 7:12, King James Version (KJV) “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” The word should has been changed to would in most of the modern translations, but that weakens the statement. If you treat others as you wish them to treat you, your reward will be that you live comfortably, but you will not grow spiritually in your maturity because there is no challenge to your existing state of personal development.

If you follow the KJV with the phrase “should do to you” you will be challenged to grow in psychological maturity. Over time you will become a better person than you were when you started treating others as they should treat you. Jesus also stated that you should treat your enemies well, which may be difficult sometimes, but that is an opportunity to develop your maturity in more difficult situations than are ordinarily encountered.

It is stated several times that when asked for a favor give more than is asked of you. I am not changing the intent of the original two-thousand-year-old statement, which is unknown and unknowable in its exact nuance, but I say, “Treat others better than you treat yourself.”

When I have stated this idea to other people they balk, and say they must treat themselves better first, and then they will have the reserves of energy needed to treat others better. But that won’t work, and will never work, because people will discover that they are infinitely needy; and no matter how much they have they will always want more than they have. It is the opposite; the more of something a person has, the less likely they are to share it. Fortunately, there are some wonderful exceptions and those exceptions are because those people have grown in their maturity.

The way to break the cycle of natural greed is to intentionally decide to “treat others better than you treat yourself.” With some people, this behavior is already a habit. They open doors for others. They offer a seat to others when they enter a room. They let others speak when those people feel the need to interrupt. When they meet people they begin in a positive way and ask friendly questions. In general, what I am suggesting is usually called politeness, but I am suggesting that you take it further than politeness and treat others even better than they could expect. It is easy to do unexpected good deeds. That has been bumper-stickered as, “Do random acts of kindness.” It is easy to:

Treat others better than you treat yourself.