The Golden Rule was a big deal when I was a kid. Every time I pinched my sister or shoved my brother, I was sure to hear one of the adults say "now, now.. remember The Golden Rule, you wouldn't want your brother to push you would you?" This amazing statement seemed to apply to everything including being the first one to reach for the largest piece of chocolate cake or sharing your new toys, or flushing the toilet in a timely fashion.
Your parents, pastors, teachers and local police officers were all making sure you got the message, even the Coca Cola Bottling Company was hard at work drumming the point of social responsibility into our hearts and minds with slogans printed on common household objects. Every time you reached for a wooden ruler, you were reminded of that rule. At which point, you quickly measured something, and ran to the icebox to get the last Coca Cola before someone else could snatch it out from under you. If you did, you were sure to hear something about sharing the last coke instead of being a greedy little piggie and drinking it all up by yourself.
Little by little, day by day, the rule sunk in. Its right to be courteous, kind and self-sacrificing and wrong to be greedy, self-absorbed and cruel. Now, if we could just get the message out to drivers who won't let you over a single lane to make that sudden right turn you weren't expecting. If only we could train people who have a month's groceries for a family of 10 to happily step aside and let us check out one gallon of milk first, or give golden rulers to men at home improvement stores who actually race you to the check-out, nudge you off balance with a cart full of lumber and sport a triumphant grin when they see you totter back out of their way. Well, that would be a better day indeed.