Golden Rule #18: What Goes Around, Comes Around
The thought dispensed by my box of gathered thoughts today: “How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours.” (Wayne Dyer)
In life, you can’t control what other people do or say, or what they don’t do or don’t say. That part isn’t up to you. However, how you respond to those things is up to you.
This is one of the hardest lessons to learn, for me. It transcends jobs, and workplaces, and volunteer activities, and church committees (especially those!), and just about every interpersonal interaction, whether professional, social, or family. It’s one of those things you know, and yet you still get to keep learning it.
You never know who’s watching, or listening, when something happens that you don’t expect. And you know what? They watch you, and your reaction, far more closely than they watch the event or incident that caused it. Sometimes your reaction speaks far more forcefully than any action that preceded it.
It was amazing to me to learn how Copper would take his cues from what was happening around him. He still does, in fact. My attitude often determined his reaction. He wasn’t about to come trotting over to me if I yelled for him to COME HERE! in a giant booming voice. But if I crouched down like I was going to play, and then turned around and tiptoed just out of sight, he came every time, mostly out of curiosity. I learned I had to be better or more appealing than whatever was causing him not to do what I wanted him to do.
How does this relate to what goes around, comes around? Doggie karma! If I want to elicit a particular reaction from Copper, I’d better make sure my action inspires it. And if I react badly to him, it’s hardly fair to expect his behavior to improve.
What goes around really does come around. We don’t get to decide when, of course, or what, or how. But we can rest in the knowledge that that is not up to us. We are only responsible for what we do and say, and how we react.