Monday, February 08, 2010

Respect the Rule

Someone stole my umbrella today.

Last time it rained, I brought my umbrella to campus with me as usual. Because I didn't want the wet umbrella to soak the rest of my clothes, I placed it in the locker next to the one in which I placed my clothes. I only had one lock, and so I placed it on the locker with my clothes. Upon my return, not only was my own umbrella left in the locker next to my locked locker, but, someone else had placed their umbrella in that locker as not to soak their clothes as well.

This time it rained, I did the same thing. Figuring that, like last time, anyone who noticed my umbrella in the unlocked locker they would realize, like a gentleman did last time, that I had placed my umbrella in a separate locker as to keep my clothes dry. This time, whoever saw my umbrella in the unlocked locker did not offer the courtesy and understanding to leave my umbrella there, but instead they took it for themselves.

Now this all sounds rather inane. I should just lock my stuff up, you say. But what occurred to me is the fine line in which we respect the Golden Rule and we avoid the possibility of having another individual be able to respect that Golden Rule. In this case, the first time, the gentleman didn't take my umbrella but actually supposed that he should expect the same courtesy and kindness that I also expected by placing my umbrella in the unlocked locker. The umbrella in the unlocked locker offered him an opportunity to respect the Golden Rule. The locker with my clothes locked inside never offers anyone the opportunity to respect that Golden Rule.

This may seem obvious to you all, but today I realized that our world would be so much better if not only we always did follow the Golden Rule when the circumstances demanded it, but also that the world would be much better if the world we lived in didn't require measures that preventived each other the opportunities to respect that Golden Rule.