We all recognize what we would consider to be “Righteous” or “Due” expectations that we place on each other, like simply expecting to be treated as we wish to be treated, but that’s really not what the “Golden Rule” is all about.
It’s not about our own expectations from others, in fact, we all need to replace that word “Expectation” with the word “Thankfulness”. Rather than expecting something out of life or from another person or situation, how about we be thankful for what we do have, thankful for our friendships, and thankful that we are able to contribute to another human being’s happiness, safety, and overall well-being….with a simple gesture of generosity, like giving an elderly neighbor a ride to the grocery store, even though we did not need to make the trip ourselves.
The Golden Rule says, “Treat others how you desire to be treated”, it does NOT say, “Treat others, and then “Expect” that great treatment in return for your wonderful attributes as a human being. If we can apply the Golden Rule in our daily lives, treating others with all the positive things like “Selflessness, Charity, Compassion, Kindness, Respect, and Love” WITHOUT expecting anything in return, then we truly have mastered the real principal behind the Golden Rule.
As soon as we do expect a return on our Golden Rule “Investment” because of our ego/pride and selfishness, we fail the “Selflessness, Charity, Compassion, Kindness, Respect, and Love” part of the Golden Rule, and for many that “Expect” something in return, that “Undue Expectation” is sometimes recognized as narcissistic behavior.
Have you ever been witness to a person that “Gives”, and then wants the whole world to know that he or she “Gave”? I have known a few people that in their act of “Charitable Giving”, they made sure that everyone, in this case, in the church, know just how “charitable” they were. They “Expected” their friends and fellow parishioners to lavish praise upon them for what really was, their selfish and narcissistic “contribution”, and that was an “Undue and Unrighteous Expectation”
For the most part, an “Undue Expectation” is when our ego and/or selfishness is in control of our feelings and/or our emotions, and we place in our minds, an expectation upon another person or persons, that is unjustified, or has no righteous value to our friendship or relationship.
Most of the time, in a personal relationship, the minute you allow your ego and selfishness to take control of an otherwise good relationship, you immediately place obstacles between you and the other person, and it becomes an obstacle that the other person has to overcome in order to bring that relationship back to normal.
The other person may feel uncomfortable, or feel grief or other emotions like anger, because he or she was not “expecting” you to say or do something that placed them in that uncomfortable situation in the first place. An example of that would be asking the other person for something that really wasn’t necessary at the moment, when in reality, had you been patient and content, the other person may have offered whatever you would have been expecting as an “Undue Expectation”.
As an example, out of the “kindness of your heart”, you offer an elderly neighbor a ride to the grocery store because you ARE going to the grocery store anyway, and you are aware that the person doesn’t have a car, that public transportation is non-existent, and you have seen your neighbor take a cab before, that’s a wonderful thing, your charitable heart. Then halfway to the store, you ask your neighbor to chip in $5 for gas. That is placing an “Undue Expectation” on your neighbor. We can be thankful that the majority of folks ARE truly compassionate and giving, and in that same situation, would never even entertain the thought of asking for a contribution to their gas tank.
Maybe your neighbor does not have the extra $5 at that moment, and on the way to the store, they begin to think of what he or she is NOT going to be able to buy at, maybe the neighbor skips buying the eggs and milk, because you selfishly wanted some “Gas Money”. That person immediately feels that burden on their spirit, and the anxiety, perhaps sadness, perhaps even disgust or anger as that neighbor hands you that $5 dollar bill?
Had you, the “Kind and Compassionate” neighbor offering the ride, kept your big mouth shut, perhaps you would have heard that elderly neighbor Sally say as you dropped her and her groceries off at her home, “I really appreciate your kindness in letting me ride with you to the store Alice, and although I don’t have any money left after getting groceries today, please allow me to give you $10 for gas when my Social Security check comes next week”.
Another example of how we place undue expectations on others is when you proudly pick up the check without hesitation, paying for dinner with a friend, (showing your friend your magnificent unselfishness in a display of financial confidence and well-being), but in your mind you really expect your friend to pick up the “tab” the next time you go out for dinner, so you say, “I got this one Fred, I’ll let you get the next one”.
Again, try NOT expecting anything in return. If you ARE confident about your ability to pay, and you have confidence in yourself, you CAN be a “Giving” person, a person that can give WITHOUT expectation of a return for your wonderful display of “Selflessness, Charity, Compassion, Kindness, Respect, and Love” The simplicity and real meaning of the Golden Rule.
What it boils down to, is achieving that level of selflessness without expecting anything in return. I have known just a few people in my life that have mastered the Golden Rule, and I am still working on it in my own life.
Peace & Abide, La paz y la morada, السلام والالتزام , שלום ושמירה, Paix et Demeure, Խաղաղությունը եւ մնալը, Мир и пребывание,, 平和と遵守, 和平與恪守, Aştî û Abad, صلح و عبید, Fred och Abide, Kapayapaan at Patuloy, Frieden und Bleiben, Mir i Ostanite, शांति और निवास, Hòa bình và ở lại, Мир и Абиде, שלום און בלייַבן, สันติภาพและการปฏิบัติ, Mir in bivanje,
Yadhum oore yaavarum kelir, “The World Is One Family”
Dr. T. C. Saxe, DD, RSISHE
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