That Jesus saying

That Jesus saying. You know the one I am talking about. In my bible it says something about “do unto others.” What I told my kids quite often is the paraphrase “treat others like you want to be treated.”

We should aspire to be like this, but we are human and fall short of this goal. Often, we recognize this and make amends or feel poorly about ourselves for offensive behavior.

Even when we vehemently disagree with someone, we should approach them the same way we want to be approached. The best way to discuss differences is through reasonable dialogue. Facts help. Listening helps even more. A colleague used to ask “help me understand,” as a way of starting dialogue when he had a hard time understanding where someone was coming from.

We must not emulate the coarse behaviors exhibited by the President of the United States. When we do, truth and civil discourse suffer. This kind of behavior sows seeds of division. It also harms our country damaging our reputation and trustworthiness around the world.

We must not follow the suggestions of Congresswoman Maxine Walters to harass members of the President’s team. That is not how she would want to be treated and is a very slippery slope. And, unless a patron is causing an uproar, service providers should not decline service because they disagree with a patron’s politics. That is also a slippery slope.

As an Independent voter and former member of both parties, neither party has all the good ideas and both have some bad ones. We must listen to each other and work toward solving real problems. We must reach out to our politicians, but do so in a civil way. People can be strident in their opinions without being a jerk. I reach out to leaders often with this modus operandi in mind.

My blogging friends Jill and Gronda published excellent posts on this subject yesterday. I would encourage you to read them. Let me leave with this thought to remember along with Jesus’ powerful words courtesy of an old boss. “You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that proportion.”

21 thoughts on “That Jesus saying

  1. Note to Readers: As an old fart, I have witnessed too much what I call false equivalence. This occurs when some person or entity wrong many folks or groups over the course of time, yet when they are slighted it washes the ledger clean. The President is expert at this. He prefers a mudfight as he knows he can win that. Walters’ comment was like throwing a fat pitch to a good hitter.

    Where the President struggled is when there is issue based concerted pushback. His reversal last week on the child separation issue is a good example. You may recall he was too scared to face a debate with Meghan Kelly as a question asker. She asked him questions he did not like before.

  2. Dear Keith,

    I get it that It is tempting to want to corner the president’s enablers when they are shopping or going out to dinner, as they have done a lot of harm. But giving into that impulse accomplishes nothing.

    As I former professional salesperson, I would accomplish nothing by attacking someone. If I walked into someone’s house to sell insurance and the house was a mess with toys and stuff all over, I would never make a sale by pointing out the obvious. I could say something like I appreciate her taking the time to meet with me when she must be so busy.

    In short, all you do is make yourself feel better when you confront folks in their private time no matter what you think of them. They shut down and they don’t hear a thing that you are saying.

    Also the Democratic party wants to offer an alternative to the president’s cruel ways of treating people. We can’t be that better alternative if we act like them.

    Hugs, Gronda

  3. Great post, Keith! I especially loved your final thought about using our two ears and one mouth in that exact proportion. Take the high road, fight the good fight and fight cleanly.

    • Thanks John. The 2/3 of listening versus 1/3 of talking will serve folks well. I wrote a post on the black man who has been successful in getting over 200 KKK members to give up their robes. He said he does it with a lot of listening, then asking questions.

  4. Another eloquent and balanced post Keith.
    The danger lies in the separation of the nation into quarrelling tribes who never listen to each other. This is not good. Does no one look back to the histories of the 1840s to 1860s? Does it take another ‘Bloody Kansas’ for folk to sit up and think, ‘there is something wrong here’

    • Roger, thanks. As you may have noticed we Americans do not have a long attention span. So, history is lost on too many. I have been reading John McCain’s memoir. His reporting of our failures in the Middle East and torrure are sadly on point. Keith

      • The attention span problems seems to be a world wide affliction Keith.
        Between 1910 and 1945 Europe tore itself apart with nationalism and populism being at the core of the disaster…..70 years on and the beast rises again

      • Roger, agreed. What nationalists fail to give value to is vibrant trade and commerce among nations makes the world safer. A strong EU and G7, eg, is beneficial to our countries. What we tend to do (especially with the US President) is not address the holistic causes of problems. Unfair trade practices and immigration are two causes of job losses, but they are not the bogeymen they are portrayed to be – technology gains and chasing cheap labor are the bigger two. Thanks for the historical context. Keith

  5. As always, an excellent post, Keith … and many thanks for the mention! I do love your thought about the proportion of 2 ears and 1 mouth, and using them in that ratio. It’s something I need to practice as well, I fear. As I told Hugh yesterday, when I try to determine the right tone in my posts, I use you for the highest standard and try to write accordingly. I often fail, for I am a bit fiery sometimes, but you are my standard.

    • Jill, thank you so much. You are very kind. My wife gets the less filtered version. But, I must confess this man in charge tries the patience of too many.

      I thought your tone was excellent on this particular issue. We had a good conversation with our daughter who was visiting. Rightfully so, she detests the White House for its propensity to be untruthful. But, she saw the slippery slope argument that being brings us back to the Golden Rule taking precedence.

      Thanks again for your great post and thoughtful comments. Speaking of emulation, I love your weekly focus on people doing good things. Keith

      • Thank you, my friend. Yes, the ‘man’ in the White House would try the patience of a saint, and I’m no saint! We are all, I think, stretched pretty thin these days and I sometimes surprise myself with my short fuse. It is amazing how much has changed in just 17 months, isn’t it? Let’s hope the next 17 reverse at least part of it. I’m not sure if I’m just tired or actually losing my bloomin’ marbles!

      • Jill, it is one thing to disagree with his policies, which tend to be lacking planning, but to watch him offend so many with his behavior is just hard to stomach. It is all about him on pretty much any issue, except those where he has caused the problem.

        He is all over Harley Davidson, but they announced last year after Trump pulled out of the TPP, they would build some cycles in Thailand. This week after the EU sanctions went into effect they announced they build some in Europe. These were in direct response to his actions on their business issues where growth is outside the US.

        Thanks again for all you do, Keith

  6. Note to Readers: As I mentioned to Jill, my wife gets the more unfiltered version of my reactions. I find it offensive when politicians purposefully lie in a smug manner, for example. Yet, I do my best to apply that filter in print and in conversation.

    The term filter is appropriate as we need to remember to use it more often. I reminded of the caution to choose your arguments. My wife and I were having a delightful conversation with an informational docent at a museum last week. Then he brought up a topic and offered an opinion that I understand, but disagree with. It made no sense to counter his argument and ruin what had been a delightful encounter, so I changed the subject.

    Mind you, I do not mind sharing my opinion and do so often, but sometimes it is better to pick your battles. Or, find a way to get to some common ground without being hyper-critical. To me, it is akin to using a car accelerator – finding the right speed. In this case, he gave us so much of his time, I wanted to honor that.

  7. A thought filled post infused with your wisdom. I strongly agree with you. As Harvey Mackay said in one of his morals : “Common courtesy should never be an uncommon practice.” Thank-you!

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