The Golden Rule

Good morning, friends! I have something to get off my chest. I hope you don’t mind.

We all know the The Golden Rule: Treat others the way you’d want to be treated. It is so simple, yet I find so many people (oftentimes myself included) have such trouble following it.

Let me tell you a (wordy) story. I hope you read along.

It was homecoming of my Senior year in high school. I was dressed up and having a fabulous time with my boyfriend and friends. I felt on top of the world.

Towards the end of the night, my girlfriends and I noticed a boy standing alone. He was dressed in a suit and bopping along to the music, but he looked like he felt out of place. He also happened to have Down Syndrome.

My heart melted when I saw him and I immediately said to my friends, “Let’s ask him to dance!” I was shocked when all of my friends laughed and breathed a collective “No way”

I remember being in that moment and knowing I had a decision to make. I could either take the comfortable route and go along with my friends, or step outside the group in order to make someone else feel good. My friends whispered as I made my way over to the boy, introduced myself and asked him to dance. I cannot explain the wonderful smile on his face or how happy I felt dancing with him.

That boy’s name was JD and he became my friend. He visited my locker every morning for the rest of the school year and we talked on the phone when I was home on breaks from college. He helped introduce me to the Special Olympics, and I even coached his basketball team. He was great.

If I had let other people’s opinions control my own, I probably would have passed JD by without a second thought that night. But sometimes, it benefits us to think about how others might feel. Maybe someone isn’t part of the “in” group and you are. Would it kill you to make him or her feel included? Probably not. You might even gain something out of it.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not a saint. Quite far from it. I am privy to passing judgement and gossiping – both of which are terrible habits that I try to avoid at all costs. They make me feel ugly because well, they are ugly.

I’m writing this post because at some point everyone, no matter her age, appearance or ability, will feel left out. I’ve been on both sides, and I know that being on the outside hurts. But I can’t decide if it sucks more to be the part of the “in” group because of how ugly it feels (and looks) to consciously make some else feel not included.

So really – just treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s much easier than being rude, mean and ugly.

23 Comments on “The Golden Rule”

  1. you are AMAZING!! that is such a beautiful thing you did for JD!

  2. Well-put girl and great story! I love the fact that the two of your have stayed close too!

  3. Cait says:

    oh girl i LOVE THIS 🙂 I used to help out in special olympics back in under grad and had a BLAST doing it! the kids are so sweet and just needing some great attention from some great people like yourself! just another reason why i love ya and you’re so amazing! xo

  4. Brittany says:

    So beautiful. Thanks for reaching out to JD and for being such a wonderful person 🙂 you are awesome and im honored fo call you my blend! Love you, sweet girl!

  5. That is seriously awesome. I used to coach special Olympics and the kids and adults you meet there are truly amazing individuals.

  6. how sweet, colleen!!! 🙂

  7. aimee says:

    Good story and reminder! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Trisha says:

    I’ve volunteered for Special Olympics for YEARS and I love it. People with special needs have a very special place in my heart. Love this post!

  9. Great story! You definitely did the right thing!

  10. I love this post and absolutely agree with you 100%. I’ve been in that same position before and it just feels awesome knowing that you helped someone else feel comfortable and accepted. Thanks for sharing!

  11. This post just made me love you even more!! These are all traits that I’m trying to instill in Adam — it’s very beneficial to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and to follow what you think is right regardless of what others may think. 🙂

  12. Jessamy says:

    Such a great story, and remember you do not actually have to do something “saint like” everyday to be a saint!

  13. Jess says:

    I think it is great that you reached out to him even though your friends weren’t supportive!

  14. Jenny says:

    This is such a great post! I definitely believe in paying it forward and treating others the way you would want. You did such an awesome thing at your prom, if that was me years ago at mine I would not have done what you did. Luckily I grew up 😉

  15. Michelle says:

    You’re a beautiful person, inside and out. This is just one example of that.

  16. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for sharing that lovely story. And the best part is…when we’re brave and we open our hearts to people who are different from us…we usually end up getting more than we give!

  17. This is a beautiful post, Colleen. Thank you for sharing! I definitely try to live by the golden rule, too. It really does feel so great to think you might have made at least a little bit of a (positive) difference in someone else’s life :] Thank you for the reminder!

  18. What an amazing story. High school is a rough place. And for those who are “different” it’s even harder. I love that you were able to look past his disability and see that he is a person with feeling that deserves friendship too. Kudos to you!

  19. What a great post, Colleen! And such a powerful story. I am so glad you were strong enough to step outside your comfort zone and it’s so great all the good that came from that! 🙂

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