The sad fact is that there are only two possible explanations for why most of us are not living our lives in such a way: either we are willfully lying to ourselves, or we are deliberately deceiving others, or both. If we are not deliberately deceiving ourselves, then the reason for our failure to achieve honesty in our lives must be our own. Now, why would we deliberately lie to ourselves? One answer is that we do not consciously see ourselves as lying to ourselves.
But when we begin to live our lives the Golden Rule becomes more and more irrelevant. We are constantly reminded of just how poor an idea it is to live our lives by the rules of a dictator. We hear constant chatter about "looking out for number one." We see how people try to fit their loved ones into pre-defined roles, how people spend entire careers avoiding conflict with those in their family, and how people care for the most precious, irrational thing in life: their own opinions.
But we live in a world in which a vast number of people have not spent much time thinking about the Golden Rule. And in that world, the Golden Rule can feel incredibly limiting or even threatening. Most of us feel that the consequences of being untruthful are far too high to live up to the Golden Rule. But to lead our lives honestly requires us to answer the question, What do I believe is best for everyone? No one ever says "If the best for everybody is what I believe to be best, I'll do that"
But that's not what the majority of us do. And that's why there are so many emotional people out there. Because if we think about being honest, we inevitably think about being dishonest. The most logical result of having a need to be the best of our friends is that we can't live our lives without lying to people. We can't focus on getting that good job. We can't help a friend get into a great college. We can't spend time on a demanding date.
Instead of rejecting certain fruits of this path, we should embrace all of them. Some of the qualities of each phase can be best captured in the image on this page. This phase generally includes aspects of kindness and gentleness, and the willingness to be vulnerable and reveal inner darkness. It often involves acknowledging the value of love, care, and encouragement to others. Perhaps the most important quality of the Greater Compassion phase is understanding that everyone has their own unique story.
But as such a choice is inherently impossible and impossible to achieve without years of hard work, without first establishing some sort of moral foundation of character, there are still genuine occasions when it is ethically or morally desirable to do so. Trying to tell everyone to do exactly as I do, is an exercise in futility. None of us is ever going to do everything everyone else does or even most things. No one is going to be a perfect person. Just like no one can be a perfect cook or even an excellent athlete,