The Golden Rule is kind of a blanket principle that can be applied to every aspect of life. The money part of your life is one of the most important. The way you use your money says a whole lot about a person. Using a basic principle, like the Golden Rule, when it comes to money issues within your life is essential. Whether you believe in karma or not, it will come back to bite you. Remember this whenever there is a situation in your life in which you can use money to affect it. Simply stick to the Golden Rule, and you will be alright.
The Golden Rule
As far as I know, the Golden Rule is derived from the Christian Bible. Here are a few different versions:
Matthew 7:12 (NLT)
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Luke 6:31 (NIV)
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Other religions may have their own versions of a similar rule, but I am not familiar with other religions. Regardless, I think everybody can agree that this is a good rule to live by. Religious or not, the Golden Rule applies to everybody.
Two things come to mind right away when I think about karma and money. These two things happen all the time and present situations where people can do good or bad. In both cases, you have a choice. You can do the right thing and have less immediate financial gain. Or, you can do wrong and have more money in that instance. Are you thinking about what I’m thinking about?
Thing one: When a complete stranger unknowingly drops money on the ground or on the floor somewhere in public. It could be on a sidewalk, on a bus, in a restaurant, in a store or anywhere else. If you saw this, what would you do? Should you wait for the person to get out of sight and then pick up the money and pocket it? Or, should you quickly alert the person and even pick up the money and hand it back to them? What if the person looks like a grouch. What if they might be ungrateful. Shouldn’t you just take the money to teach them a lesson that they should be more careful?
When you apply the Golden Rule, it’s easy to know what to do. Imagine that you are the person who dropped the money. Wouldn’t you want somebody to alert you and pick it up and hand it back to you? That’s right, you know what to do. And it this Golden Rule thing goes both ways in this situation. If you are the person who dropped the money and some complete stranger made you aware and handed it back to you, make sure you politely thank them. Show your appreciation. After all, that is what you would want them to do for you.
Thing two: When a cashier, teller or server makes a mistake with a business transaction in your favor. It might be a cashier at Wal-Mart who forgot to scan one of your gallons of milk. Or maybe the teller at the pick-up window at McDonald’s gives you change for a $20 bill when you only paid with a $5 bill. Perhaps your server at Applebee’s accidentally forgot to add those last two beers you ordered to your bill. What should you do in any of these situations? After all, these are all huge businesses with locations all over the country and even the world. They won’t miss a few bucks here and there. Besides, we all know that big corporations are evil and make way too much profit, all on the backs of the little guy. It’s about time that you should get a break, however small it is.
Applying the Golden Rule here isn’t as easy, because it is hard to imagine being the owner of a monster business like one of these. Regardless, it still applies. Use ratios if you have to in order to imagine yourself in the shoes of the merchant on the other end. Instead of milk at Wal-Mart, imagine buying produce from a kid at a roadside stand. You wouldn’t let them undercharge you, would you? What if that same kid made a mistake while counting out your change? You would correct it, right? You should do the same thing if it happens at a place like McDonald’s. Not only is the overall business slightly affected, the welfare of the employee who makes the mistake could be at stake as well. They could get in trouble and possibly even lose their job due to mistakes like this.
Jesus himself stated that you should live by the Golden Rule. It encompasses all of the laws and everything that prophets have stated. For Christians, this is all we need to know. For everybody else, well, that little thing called karma has its way of working itself into this concept. Do good to others, and good things will happen to you. Do bad to others, and bad things will happen to you.
When it comes to money issues in your life, simply think of the Golden Rule. If you were on the other end of any situation, how would you want to be treated? Treat the other person exactly how you would want to be treated. Do good with your money matters in all situations and good things, financially speaking, will happen to you.
Readers: What are some other money matters where The Golden Rule or Karma can be applied? Any good stories of specific situations from your life?