Grace Note for October 11, 2015
The owner of an apartment building in New York City was sentenced to live in the apartment building she rents to tenants. The seventy-one-year-old landlady, pled guilty to six violations concerning her property and was ordered to pay a fine and make needed repairs; she did neither. The tenants didn’t have any hot water, there was no heat, and because she didn’t pay the electric bill, residents had to use Christmas lights, strung from the next door building to light the hallways.
A judge ordered the landlady to spend at least four nights a week in her building for the next sixty days. The landlady protested the verdict and referred to her own building as a prison. She said, “It’s not fair to put me in prison at this time of my life.”
When we forget the Golden Rule, we create prisons for those around us and cause them to suffer. We might realize how destructive this is if we had to live in the prisons we build. What if we had to endure the sarcasm that we throw at others? Would we want to feel the anger that we vent on other people? Could we survive the apathy that we show others? The Golden Rule calls for us to continually ask ourselves, “Would I enjoy the environment that I am creating for others?”