Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  (Luke 6:31)

I do my best to live by the Golden Rule, dealing with those around me with straight-forward honesty.  In my mind, honesty is best and it works well.  Or so I thought until one of the women I work with told me that I’m intimidating.  Seriously?  I’m a friendly person.  I smile a lot and all that other friendly stuff.  Clearly, this wasn’t my problem.  It must be their’s.

At least that’s what I thought until recently.

Not long ago, I got to view a brand new employee dealing with one of her co-workers.  She was changing around the way things are done, reordering processes and the like willy nilly.  Yes, its within her power to do so, but instead of telling the other worker in private, she chose to discuss this with him in public.  Yep.  Right in full view, he got his first glimpse of things to come.  And when he objected, it was smilingly brushed aside.  That makes it okay, right?  She was smiling.

I approached two of the people responsible for hiring and firing.  No, I wasn’t trying to get her fired, but seriously?  Did they know she treated people like this? The first response just rocked me back.  “Oh, she wasn’t that bad.  She was smiling.”

Seriously?  Like a smile makes it all better?

Then the other person spoke up. “She really values honesty.  She’s all about being transparent.  That’s why we hired her.”

Right up until then, I thought that I valued honesty, and maybe even transparency, above all else.  But something about this just didn’t sit well with me.  I pulled my husband into the discussion.  He is, after all, a business geek complete with classes in management.  Maybe he’d have some insight.  “Its not all about doing your job.  She may have been brought in to change things and because she values honesty, but she has to temper it with respect for the other professionals that work here.”

It isn’t enough to treat others as I want to be treated.  At one point, I would have said that was all about honesty and nothing more.  I now realize that respect is just as important and honesty is only a part of that package.

I may have just realized it but God knew it all along.  That’s why my version of the Golden Rule is just a bit different.  Treat others as God would have you treat them.  Seriously.  Because, when we do, the smile is genuine and reflects His Love.  It isn’t sugar coating anything.