Thursday, January 17, 2008

Please keep your comments clean and constructive.

The golden rule is best interpreted as saying: "Treat others only in ways that you're willing to be treated in the same exact situation." To apply it, you'd imagine yourself in the exact place of the other person on the receiving end of the action. If you act in a given way toward another, and yet are unwilling to be treated that way in the same circumstances, then you violate the rule.

To apply the golden rule adequately, we need knowledge and imagination. We need to know what effect our actions have on the lives of others. And we need to be able to imagine ourselves, vividly and accurately, in the other person's place on the receiving end of the action. With knowledge, imagination, and the golden rule, we can progress far in our moral thinking.

The golden rule is best seen as a consistency principle. It doesn't replace regular moral norms. It isn't an infallible guide on which actions are right or wrong; it doesn't give all the answers. It only prescribes consistency - that we not have our actions (toward another) be out of harmony with our desires (toward a reversed situation action). It tests our moral coherence. If we violate the golden rule, then we're violating the spirit of fairness and concern that lie at the heart of morality.

The golden rule, with roots in a wide range of world cultures, is well suited to be a standard to which different cultures could appeal in resolving conflicts. As the world becomes more and more a single interacting global community, the need for such a common standard is becoming more urgent.

Essentially, as I understand this rule, we should use language and terminology that best suits the situation and people we are describing. If I decided to scam taxpayers, I would fully expect and anticipate opposition from anyone and everyone that might be aware of my scam. I would not expect people to express their displeasure in my conduct with profanity or personal insults. I would anticipate people thinking or concluding that I was evil and unfit for public service. I would expect people to theorize how a corrupt public servant became so terribly corrupt.

It is important to make the distinction that not every evil person is evil all of the time. Sometimes they fall asleep and dream about evil things without actually putting the evil action into effect until the next day. To combat evil whenever and wherever we encounter it, we need to engage in a comprehensive evaluation of the conduct and be deliberate in our assessment. We cannot root out corrupt officials by keeping quiet or accepting things as the status quo. If they commit the crime, they should expect to do some time.

I cannot stress enough that our comments must meet an acceptable threshold. It is entirely understandable that many readers of this blog are irritated and feeling desperate for change in management. We have witnessed corruption for far too long and seek to end its nasty reign as soon as humanly possible. Change will happen but we need not stoop to the level so frequently utilized by district administration.

Please keep your comments clean and constructive. It would also be helpful to be careful when submitting comments as a recent change in the Blogger format has led to some comments being lost in transmission. If you have something lengthy to contribute, please just email it directly to and I will do what I can to post it with haste.

Editorial: The golden rule information was found on line at this web address.


Anonymous said...

All we can ever hope for is that we are treated with respect by all. After you've turned the other cheek several times, however, what is the best course of action when those who have a legal and moral obligation to act do not act.

With the M L King, Jr. holiday approaching, look on the walls of the halls in your school. Are there inspirational sayings from Dr. King there for the children to see? Do the actions and attitudes of staff and administration match those lofty ideals? If they don't, you need to figure out why not and do something about it.

Yes, doing something is hard. Some might not like you for it, but it is not for their benefit that you are doing it; it is for the benefit of your students.

Remember: the schools are there for the benfit of your students. They are not kingdoms for adults to exercise power for the sake of exercising power for themselves and their own ilk.

Anonymous said...

that is one of the best posts I've read.
thank you,
I have so much hate in me! I need to slow down & think of a new way.
Thank you M L KING.

Anonymous said...

Justice is not retribution. Seeking justice does not mean seeking retribution. We are teachers; we want our students to learn from their mistakes not hammer them for making one.

The same is true for our co-workers and supervisors. It would be wonderful to see them learning from their mistakes rather than just carrying on doing the same ol' same ol'. Seeking justice means that when the powerful misuse their power, it should be fairly and evenly pointed out to all. There should be no retribution from the powerful when the weak seek justice.

We teach our students to tell an adult when they are being bullied. The justice will come in the correcting of the behavior of the bully. It rarely happens in one encounter.

We see (and feel) mistreatment of adults in the system: teachers, office staff, ESC underlings. Justice comes when those in power stop using that power improperly. That can only happen when they see the error of their ways. Moving to a new job doesn't work for either the bully or the bullied. Nothing is resolved; nothing is learned. New behaviors are not put into place.

To be bullied and told, "If you don't like it here, go someplace else" solves no issues on either side. This is not a "management style." This is raw power, brutally and nakedly used. If you "take the advice" and leave, there will just be another teacher right behind who will be the next victim. That's what serial bullies do. Nothing is resolved.

Justice can only come when those in power choose to behave differently, positively. The justice of the Civil Rights Movement was marked by the elimination of the Jim Crow laws and the passage of laws trying to achieve equal rights and treatment of all citizens.

Justice will come to the Edmonds SD when ALL of its employees are treated fairly, equally and respectfully. It will come when policy is read, understood, and applied fairly to all.

We do not seek retribution; we merely seek justice.