The Platinum Rule


Years ago I was discussing with someone personal life philosophies and our modi operandi. I said that I was a golden rule kind of person- do unto others as you would have others do unto you. The person I was speaking with said that he was a platinum rule type of person. Never hearing this term before, I asked him what he meant. He said that the platinum rule is to do unto others as they would do unto themselves.

The Golden Rule vs the Platinum Rule looks like this:

You love chocolate chip cookies; they always make you feel better when you are upset. So when you notice  that your co-worker has been down in the dumps lately, you bake him some chocolate chip cookies. Your co-worker finds this to be a lovely gesture and takes them home to his family. That is the golden rule.

However, what if you notice that every time your co-worker buys a sweet treat at lunch, he purchases a sugar cookie. So you bake this co- worker sugar cookies, instead, to cheer him up. He is so over joyed that his eyes get wet and he shares how his grandmother always made him sugar cookies and she has recently passed away. Your attention to detail made him recall a positive memory about her and  lifted his spirits. You made his day! This is the platinum rule!

The golden rule is great, but the platinum rule is just that extra level of consideration and care. The platinum rule requires us to stop looking within and start looking “without.”  If we take the time to observe and listen, we will learn to be attentive partners and parents, better co-workers,  and more involved friends.