Adopt the Golden Rule as the Integrity Guideline for Your Life


Swiss philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel stated, “He who floats with the current, who does not guide himself according to higher principles, who has no ideal, no convictions—such a man is a mere article of the world’s furniture—a thing moved, instead of a living and moving being—an echo, not a voice.” No one wants to be an echo, to live a shadow of a life. Yet that is often the fate of people without convictions. If you desire for your life to have meaning, then you must choose some principle to live by.

I’d like to make a case for the Golden Rule. I believe that asking the question “How would I like to be treated in this situation?” is an effective integrity guideline for any situation.

The Golden Rule works in the boardroom, on the ball field, in the classroom, and in the living room. It works with employees, employers, family, and peers. It works whether you’re managing a paper route or a Fortune 500 company. As Henry Ford observed, “We have always found that if our principles were right, the area over which they were applied did not matter. Size is only a matter of the multiplication table.”

If you believe the Golden Rule is right and it works, then you need to adopt it as the integrity guideline for your life. Every day, whenever the issue of ethical behavior confronts you, ask this question: “How would I like to be treated in this situation?” Then take the advice of nineteenth-century novelist George Eliot, who said, “Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right, decide on what you think is right and stick to it.”

From Ethics 101

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  1. 1
    Isaiah Eister says:

    Luke 6:31.

  2. 2
    Deone Higgs says:

    Doing what’s right won’t always be the popular choice to make, but when we choose to be an influence instead of popular; we will always choose doing what’s right no matter what! Thanks for the sharpening, Mr. Maxwell! :)

  3. 3
    Kent says:

    What we need to align with God. That’s the right thing to do.

  4. 4
    Tyler Opsahl says:

    This is only applicable to people outside South Carolina. (hint: Google “Golden rule booed”)

  5. 5

    The Golden Rule is, not always, correct.

    Let me explain: The Golden Rule says, ” treat people the way you would like to be treated. This leaves open the chance that if you’re an angry person, or have a low self-image for example; You will beat-up someone, metaforically, if you’re having a bad day.

    The correlation to the Golden Rule should be, ‘treat people the way they want to be treated.


    • 5.1
      Gurmeet Singh Pawar says:


      ‘treat people the way they want to be treated.

      This might leave open the chance that other person wants to be treated like God even as he behaves evil to all.

      or maybe you meant it someway else..

  6. 6
    John Hardy says:

    This should apply everywhere , not just in business. Your elders should have taught you what this rule is. If you have difficulty, you need to take it before the LORD.

  7. 7

    I have also found that we must test our principles. Without trying them on for size, we can talk the talk without challenging ourselves to walk that walk. This is an essential exercise that demonstrates how much harder it is to follow through with action compared to simply stating the intention.

    Great blog post! And such a deep topic, so well presented in a short snippet! Thank you John. – Stephanie Clark

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  9. 9
    Martin Kulubi says:

    Love should be the benchmark

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