Treat Others As They Treat Your Children
by Jay Fadden
There is a saying that I am sure you have heard: Treat others how you want to be treated. It makes a lot of sense. I have used this expression many times and have tried to use it to model how I deal with people.
But I am a strange duck. I am not obsessed with how others treat me. I do not take much personally and try to keep things in perspective. So for me, I just expect people to be fair and honest, no more, no less. This means that the bar I set for how I want others to treat me is not all that high.
It may sound a bit cold, but I really don’t expect much in the way that people treat me. This is not because I think less of them or their potential, but because I don’t really need much. I just go along my merry way, holding onto my family, friends, and faith. If how I am treated by others is how I treat others, then I may limit my own potential in dealing with others.
Many years ago, I thought about this, and then something happened that changed me. One of my children got hurt from how his “friends” were treating him. It was horrible. The event itself was not physically terrible, but the pain it caused my son was cutting. I remember it as if it were yesterday. We were driving home from church and I noticed that my son was quiet and looked sad. I pulled over and just asked, “Is everything alright?” He hesitated for a moment and bowed his head. His shouldered began to heave, and he looked up at me. Tears filled his eyes as pain covered his face. Through sobs, he said, “I have no friends.” I just stared at him. I felt horrible and helpless. I asked him what he was talking about. I knew his friends. He had slept over their houses and they had slept over ours. But middle school boys can be fickle. One of the new boys in the group had turned them against my son and they all abandoned him, treating him like a person with a contagious disease. Now, he felt isolated and alone, and there was nothing I could do to reverse the trend. WOW!
Now, things turned out all right for him. After some struggles, my son made new friends and is doing well, but through all my children’s growing pains, I was getting hurt as well. I was walking with them, and when they were upset, it hurt me deeply. It was through these experiences that I decided that I was going to treat others how I wanted people to treat my children. I want others to be kind to Amelia, James, and Ethan. I want them to see the potential in them that I do and to give them hope and attention. I want others to make my children feel special and loved. I want them to feel included and part of the discussion. I want them to give them a chance when no one else would. That is how I want others to treat my children, and in turn, that is how I try to treat others. Ultimately, I want others to love my children as I do.
Happy Spring to you and your loved ones.