2023: The Golden Rule Rules

Happy New Year!

This year, I have a New Year’s Resolution that is not nearly as interesting as it was in 2022, and is absolutely, positively boring compared to 2021. But sometimes, boring is good, right? “Right,” she tries to convince herself.

This year, I don’t have 22 little goals to make progress in, and this year, I am not foreswearing the purchase of any new clothes. This year, I am going to live by the Golden Rule.

“Boring,” you say.

It’s been almost one week now, and I have failed at my New Year’s Resolution already two big fat ugly times that I can count. But I have also succeeded a good number of times. But before I get into that, I want to explain why and what this means.

The Golden Rule tells us to love others as we love ourselves, and to do for others what we would want to do for us. As we have been saying here since, oh, I don’t know, forever, there is no way that we can love others if we don’t love ourselves first. Because if we don’t love ourselves, then we have no place to start from. We have nothing in the bank to be generous with.

So my goal is to get to the point where I love myself without reservation, so that I can love others without counting.

But that’s too hard, I whine to myself.

And the fact that it is too hard its exactly why I want to do it.

So, the goal this year is to, as much as I possibly can, do for others what I would want done for me, and to do this without any expectation that anything will ever be done for me in return.

I do not want to be generous out of the hope that someone will be generous to me in return. I want to be generous because I would want someone to be generous to me if I were in their shoes. (Does this make sense?)

I want to give my son the last piece of cake because I would want someone to love me enough to give me the last piece of cake.

I want to invite my kid to snuggle up next to me while I’m reading when he should really be in bed already, darn it, because if I were in his shoes and needed a snuggle, I would want someone to snuggle me instead of scolding me and sending me off to bed.

I want to speak in a calm voice with my kids, even when they don’t deserve a calm voice, because I would want someone to speak in a calm voice to me when I am feeling and acting crazy.

Have no fear, though, people pleasers of the world. This does not mean I am abandoning discipline of my children or handing over a pen for others to write all over my calendar.

Because I also know that if I were behaving badly or dangerously, I would want someone with authority to address this with me instead of letting me hurt myself or others. So I have to be willing and able to address misbehavior with authority, gentleness and grace.

I also know that if I asked someone to do something, and they agreed half-heartedly and came to learn that they dreaded doing what I asked, I wouldn’t want them to carry through on their commitment. So my resolution says that if I have a reservation about a commitment, I have to be honest and upfront about it. I have to not commit if I think I won’t be able to keep my commitment, even though it means I won’t be pleasing everybody all the time.

So yeah, it’s a boring resolution, but it is keeping me busy.

I have, on a few occasions, been accused of overthinking everything. (You know who you are.) But I think even you would agree that this is productive overthinking. So, while the resolution is boring, I doubt that I will be bored!

Do you have a New Year’s Resolution? I would love to hear about it!!!!!!

Episode 64: The Golden Rule Rules Sing With Your Feet

In this last episode before the summer hiatus, Lily talks about this year's challenge to live out the Golden Rule and some of the hiccups that have appeared along the way.
  1. Episode 64: The Golden Rule Rules
  2. Episode 63: Foresight
  3. Episode 62: Memory
  4. Episode 61: Novelty
  5. Episode 60: How to Have Great Sex

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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