Live by a More Golden Rule

While having tea with a friend on her garden patio, her playful and loving orange and black tabby cat, Tig, jumped up onto the table, gently placed a lifeless little field mouse in front of me and jumped back off.

Shocked, I gasped.

My friend’s reaction was quite the opposite. She simply smiled and commented, “Awe, look. He likes you.”

“Really? He sure has a funny way of showing it.” I replied motionless.

“It’s just his way of showing you how much he loves you.” She said.

With Tig long gone, that little field mouse suddenly opened his eyes, got back on his feet and ran straight off the table, landing not so gently on the ground and scurrying into the dense foliage of the garden, never to be seen again – at least not by me.


In a way, Tig was following the golden rule, “Do unto other as you would have done unto you.” And while I was grateful for his expression of love, I was, unfortunately, not able to fully appreciate his gift at the time.

All too often we are much like Tig, giving to others what we would want for ourselves. I call this the 14 Karat Rule, acting from our own limited preferences. While thoughtful and often appreciated, it occasionally falls short of its intended result.

A more golden rule, which I call the 18 Karat Rule, is this. “Do unto others as you would imagine they would want done unto them. In Tig’s case, with a little imagining, he may have chosen to simply climb up onto my lap, allow me to pet him and purr like there was no tomorrow.

While cats like Tig don’t have the capacity to imagine what others would want done unto them, we humans do. Possessing this capacity, we have an opportunity in each and every moment to live this rule in a more loving way.

If we were to all live by this 18 Karat Rule long enough, imagining and doing unto others what we imagine others would want done unto them, I believe we would all eventually come to the conclusion that we all want the same thing – love.

Realizing love is the answer to all our wants, an Even More Golden Rule, the 24 Karat Rule, might go like this. “Love others as you imagine they would want to be Loved.” Or simply, “Love others.”

Looking back at Tig’s gift, now, I can’t help but love him for loving me the only way he knew how.

Copyright 2008 Rob Gruber

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The Door is Open! – Part I – A Story of Unconditional Love

Just after supper, the day before I was to leave my childhood home of Cincinnati, Ohio for the bright lights of New York City, I sat with my father on our front porch admiring his perfectly manicured lawn.

Just as the sun was about to set, my father humbly said, “I have a little something for you.”

Before I could say anything, he placed in my hands a beautiful clay sculpture of a Garden Pagoda, an Asian-styled gazebo, a symbol of our mutual love for gardening. Seeing the emotion that was coming over me, he lovingly added, “Do you see that? The door is open.”

Speechless, I nodded.

“These doors will always be open to you.” He said, not being able to hold back the tears. “You will always be welcomed home.”

“Thanks Dad!” I said, tearing up as well as I hugged him as tight as I could. “I love you, Pop!”

“I love you too Son.” He said hugging me back.

If you were to ask me to describe unconditional love to you I believe I would begin here…(to be continued)

Copyright 2008 Rob Gruber