Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Cardinal Rule for All Relationships

Children at play in Quebec City -- June 2011.  I took this picture.
           Today I begin my 20th school year as a teacher.  I'll be teaching French in a local high school.   I remember when I used to teach writing to eighth graders.
          My students were a disparate group of preteens and teenagers undergoing the dramatic physical, mental, and social changes that mark the transition from childhood to young adulthood.  How did I begin to engage twenty-five to thirty eighth graders in a pertinent discussion to lay the groundwork for the dynamics in the classroom?

           For our initial meeting, all eyes were on me. As you can imagine, I needed them to buy into my "rules and procedures".  So, what did I say to make my words personal and relevant to these children with their varied life experiences?  What did I say that would resonate with each and every one of them?

           First, I presented little scenarios to help them recall their thoughts and feelings in certain situations.  As they thought about which kinds of situations, behaviors, and environments made them comfortable or uncomfortable, we discussed how we could each make others more comfortable.  At this point, I had their attention.  That's when I presented the cardinal rule for all relationships.  I proposed that they treat their classmates the way that they themselves wanted to be treated.  This revelation got nods of approval from some, as if it were their idea.  From the knowing smiles on other faces, I saw that they recognized this as the "Golden Rule" Christ gave to all mankind.

          Jesus spoke these words to the multitudes in his Sermon on the Mount.  Christ wants us to live this way.  Practicing the Golden Rule is practicing brotherly love, which works no ill against another.  All relationships would be enhanced if people lived Christ's command. 

          Our challenge is to practice the Golden Rule in all relationships, even in difficult relationships and encounters.  After all, Christ's commands are the "gold standard".

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:  for this is the law and the prophets"  Matthew 7:12 (KJV).

                                                     Sweet granddaughters Madison and Mckenzie.



  1. Good post and the theme of my bullying book is pretty much The Golden Rule. When I did my school visits, I loved role-playing different bullying situations with my students, so that they could "feel" what it was like to be the bully, the bully's victim, and the bystander. The Golden Rule is always a good behavioral model for all of us!

  2. Congratulations on 20 years of teaching! How wise you are to help your students learn the rule of Jesus. They are blessed to have you, Rose!

  3. Nice post.


    Tom Blubaugh, Author
    Night of the Cossack

  4. Wonderful simple...yet so profound. If we could live this out everyday!

  5. I know Grace. It's true. It's a minute by minute faith walk.

  6. Lovely photo of the school there in Quebec city! Charming!

    I love what you taught these children. Blessings on your new year! Your granddaughters look like dolls. (Not sure if that is just an American expression... but they look dear.) :)

    Thanks again for entering the book giveaway at my site!

  7. Thank you so much Pam. I love that picture of the children in Quebec City. I'm going to have a larger print framed. Wouldn't it make a charming water color? Yes, the girls do look like dolls and they are well-behaved little girls,too. I appreciate your reading the blog. Please come visit again. And I will do the same.

    1. Yes... a watercolor would be beautiful. I used to paint and draw though I never mastered watercolor. This photo does make me want to draw it. At our frame shops here they now have a way to make a photo look like an oil painting... I'll be back here too.
      Good to connect! :)