Monday, March 12, 2007

The Silver Rule

Someone gave me this piece from her 12 step group. I consider it the third essential commandment in healing humanity of its codependence and teaching responsibility, respect and cooperation (my three key values for functional relationships.

Silver Rule: "Never do for those what they can do for themselves."

My Mother and probably her mother before her, in a long lineage of raising responsible and respectful children, taught and demonstrated "Give your children as much responsibility as they can handle..and a little more to grow into." My experience growing up was, there is nothing I cannot do and do well with a little willingness to learn and enjoy the learning." I was pleased with the learning and maturing process. I never felt criticized nor praised. I always felt loved." Therefore, I never learned to look to others to do for me. I never learned to look for others' approval of my achievement. I never learned to believe that others evaluation was the source of my worth. I learned what I was given came from God. What I did with what I was given was up to me. Only this could I be proud of…my willingness to fully utilize the gifts, talents and resources I had for the Greater Good.
And so here I am, joyous to be able to share all I have been given.

When you help someone when they can help themselves, you are creating dependence and weakness.
When you give to clear your own fear and worry, you are giving the other your problem.
When you treat another as though they need help, you are affirming their neediness.
When you take care of others to feel good about yourself, you are weakening their self worth.
When you teach others how to care for themselves, you are empowering and building confidence.

When you feed a man a fish, you feed him only for today.
When you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

Let us begin to allow everyone to grow up by teaching principles to live by.
Let us begin to teach respect and responsibility by believing in others.
Let us begin to create a functional and cooperative world by using education and demonstration.
Let us begin to love one another with the Silver Rule of letting others learn with natural consequences.

Loving you and all equally,
Betty Lue