A little background
For thousands of years, philosophers have tried to determine the best way to live to produce what Aristotle called “The Good Life”. He maintained that the good life was the product of living in accordance with a set of values that were oriented for maximum happiness and social viability.
People have long debated what those values ought to be, and from such debate has arisen such mottos as Do unto others (The Golden Rule) and Confucius’ “What a small person seeks in others, a great person seeks in themself” (paraphrased).
What’s the problem?
The problem I’ve found with these is not the direction provided, but a vagueness that hinders real-time application, and a sense of incompleteness—the former addresses how to treat others, omitting how to treat oneself, and with the latter, the opposite is true.
Well, I believe that as of this last weekend, I have found the right words that orients me short and long term for both how to treat others, and how to treat myself. If you read the title to this article, you already know what those words are.
BE TRUE TO YOURSELF AND KIND TO OTHERS
Under normal circumstances, I'd probably say something like "mind you, this is what I have found that works for me, obviously your results may vary." And I would probably be right to say that, but in this case, I sort of do think that this could be applied by anybody and to incredible affect.
What makes this any better than any other “golden rules”?
A new principal such as this warrants specific wording to make the intent clear and simple, to ease recall in real-time situations. Kind of like a mantra to repeat in your head to orient yourself toward you highest intent (as opposed to simply riding the emotional current of the given situation).
It has already opened up brand-new options for me to use in dialogue with three of the main people in my life, with whom communication had been restrained. I think that these words can help you too, but only if you try to use them (obviously). I mean, an answer can only ever be as relevant as the question.
That is to say, if you’re reading this, but aren’t interested in finding the best way to live for yourself, then you may stop reading here and go watch this video, because the rest of this article will simply be irrelevant.
So what’s the point?
The eight words “Be true to yourself and kind to others” form what I would present as the best way to live in the real world, and perhaps the greatest purpose to which one may aspire. Just meditating on those eight words, and attempting to understand and adhere to them will be enough to improve your relationships with yourself and with others.
How, then do I use this?
If you’re going to try and use this, remember, it's not about being true to yourself then being kind to others, it’s about doing them both at the same time. I have usually only seen options in terms of “this or that”. Attempting to balance these two intentions seems to help me develop a third option where everybody wins.
Is that all?
Be true to yourself deserves a whole library of content on its own, and I will be writing something on that soon. I will aim to demonstrate the quickest way to know yourself by way of remembering and experiencing who you really are, really fast, so look out for that.
In the meanwhile, I double dare you to try using this. I have recited it in tense, time-critical situations as simple “True In, Kind Out”, which seems sufficient as long as I know what I really mean by that.
Please let me know below to share if this works for you, or if it doesn’t and if you would like me to expand on anything to develop the idea further.
Thank you for reading, Hero!