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