Balancing the Golden Rule
Pushing through could actually be my middle name. It’s what I do. No matter how exhausted, weary or injured, I will push through to make sure that I do my best at whatever it is that I’ve set out to do.
In the past, I never imagined that pushing through was not always the wisest thing. In my head and my heart, pushing through was not only the right thing to do; it was the righteous thing to do.
In 25 years of working, writing, lecturing, I have never canceled an event and have only had to reschedule a few. Not even a flight delay or cancelation can cause me to miss an event. I will simply fly as close as possible and then drive the rest of the way. (Once my manager Jeanine and I had to fly from California and then drive through the Tennessee Mountains in the middle of the night. We arrived just in time to hear my introduction. Afterwards, people actually cried and thanked us for the extra effort we made to get there.)
I often feel that folks don’t put in enough effort; they surely don’t give any extra. I’m amazed at how quickly people will give up on their own dreams.
Pushing through has been so much a part of my existence that I could not see any other way. I’ve worked through gall bladder attacks, a concussion, broken hand, pre- and post-op foot surgery. (My last 5 years have been my Calamity Jane years.)
Last week though, when I had to fly to Delaware to be a part of a documentary, something was off. I could not get myself up and I knew that I had to move. I catch early flights because they have a greater probability of no delays and there are more options if there is one.
I changed my flight to give myself another hour but still did not feel quite right. I took a second shower, got packed and dressed and walked to the front door.
When my daughter came to see me off she took one look and me and said, “Mom, you’re really sick.” She touch my forehead and told me that I was burning up. I gave my classic line about “Just pushing through.”
My daughter took the role of guardian and asked a most important question, “If this was me, what would you tell me to do?”
She had me. In that moment, I realized that my standards for others were not the same as those that I had for myself. I had gotten the Golden Rule so backwards. I treated others, everyone, the way I would want to be treated, but I hadn’t bothered to treat myself that way.
As I turned to go back to my bedroom, everything started spinning and I actually felt the severity of my illness.
It tuned out that I had a monster of a stomach flu and needed to be in bed for several days.
I’m just going to put this right out there for you to ponder:
What have you done for you lately?
Do you push through even when you need to pull back?
Is your Golden Rule balanced?
These questions are for those who keep going when they know they should slow down. You all know who you are, especially my brother whose name rhymes with Berry Bee.
Those of us who maintain standards have to be around to teach them to others.
Be you be well, be wise.
Bertice Berry, PhD.