Everyone knows the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31) It is the principle of reciprocity — treating others as one would wish to be treated, with tolerance, consideration and compassion. Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, expressed it this way: “Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.” Confucius taught his followers the Silver Rule: “Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself.” An-Nawawi’s Forty, 13, 56, Hadith instructs followers of Islam: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”
As a provider of supports for people with disabilities, you know the value of compassion and empathy. It’s important that you communicate those things to the people you serve through your words and actions, right?
Today, I’d like to introduce the Pearl Rule. (There’s no really insightful reason for the name, except for my convoluted reasoning: Pearls come from oysters, which come from the ocean, which creates beaches, which are my happy places.)
The Pearl Rule goes something like this: Treat YOURSELF the way you would want someone else to treat you. It’s astoundingly simple, yet often difficult to practice. In order to realize its full value, you must accept and embrace these 3 basic principles:
Although self-care goes against the natural grain of the caregiver, it’s important to realize that you cannot serve others effectively without some regular self-maintenance. Practice the Pearl Rule to cultivate wholeness in your own life so that you may be able to share it with others.