Tuesday, February 17, 2004

I just can't wrap my mind around it...

There's a Toyota ad...It says "do unto you as you would have others do unto you..."

That's right. Toyota and an advertising agency have changed the Golden Rule.

You remember that one, don't you? It says "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

While I think there are some problems with this rule (What if you have really low self esteem and let people step all over you? What if you're a masochist of some kind? What if you enjoy jello but are expecting me for dinner?) I must say the idea makes some sense. You want the best for yourself. You want respect, kindness, etc. And so you are commanded to give others the value that you give yourself. If people were willing to look on others as having the same worth they had then they wouldn't be able to cut people off in traffic or stab them in the pancreas with ice picks, etc. People often do these sorts of thing and we all end up regretting it so I sure do wish people would follow the Golden Rule.

As for interpretation, I'm assuming it's kind of general and you'd find out from the other people what they wanted before doing unto them. You wouldn't just buy them tickets to a reunion of Journey without finding out whether they liked Journey.

Of course, you might consider the fact that no one should ever, ever like Journey and you really are doing them a favor not only not to buy them tickets but to cure them of their love of Journey. Or perhaps even to lock them away until the concert is over...But that's another issue.

I'm sure you can see the beauty and genius of the Golden Rule even though all the interpretive issues are not fully sorted out. If people followed it--would we have wars? Would we have poverty? Would we have reality shows like Survivor?

No!...In fact, on every reality show that depends on X screwing over Y the contestants would be force to concede to each other. Nor could they trick and lie to each other and all the rest. They'd even have to share. All the time.

For that reason alone, don't you wish the Golden Rule had widespread currency then?

OK, so what about do unto you as you would have others do unto you? I don't get it! If you already know how you want others to do unto you why do you need to know how you should do unto you? You already know what you want. What is this telling you to do?

But I do get one thing: This is the one that everyone's happy to follow! Why, we don't even have to tell anyone to do it...It seems to come naturally to all.

(While searching for the ad online I found
this commentary.


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