The Golden Rule-do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is about as basic as morality gets. It’s the bridge between empathy and sympathy, between putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and making some accommodation to them as a result. it is an age old formula for getting the most out of people and being successful. No one likes a grump – everyone likes a genuine and positive person who treats others well. Who do you think will have the most influence on others? I just read that a useful counterbalance to the Golden Rule, then, would be one that countervails against our tendency to do unto ourselves differently from what we do unto others. Instead of just fantasizing about the special treatment we would have others do unto us and then trying unsuccessfully to give them the same royal treatment, we should look at what we really do to other people, and mete out to ourselves the same in return—no special treatment at all. As it’s generally understood, the Golden Rule suggests that what you hope others would do to you should simply be identical to what you would do to them. In practice, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, which is one reason none of us apply it perfectly.