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One Rule To Rule Them All

October 4, 2018

Don’t be a jerk

I was recently asked to moderate the facebook group for a friend who is an entertainer. He asked me and a group of others to step in and help out. We became the “Mod Squad.” His only rule is “Don’t be a jerk.”

There are a couple of other clarifications. For example, no political slurs. No disrespecting the patron or the moderators. But, generally the rule is just don’t be a jerk.

What makes his rule ironic, at least to his casual fans is that he has a reputation of being somewhat harsh to people who interrupt his performances.

I’ve moderated several forums over the years. At one point a few friends and I created a political discussion group. We intentionally invited both liberals and conservatives. The only rule was “No personal attacks.” We used different words than my friend’s forum, but essentially it’s the same rule.

Both rules bear a strong resemblance to The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

All have the same message: Be nice to people.

It’s a message that has a business application too. Dale Carnegie introduced a training program over 75 years ago based on the teachings in his award winning book, “How To Win Friends And Influence People.” Carnegie would have fit well as a moderator in these forums.

Even nursery stories teach the message. “You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.” Although, I’ve never understood why you would want to attract bees. But, if you did, honey works better than vinegar.

I read a story about a guy who was eating in a diner. He and his friends were feeling pretty tough. He started harrassing one of the other patrons. Eventually he recognized that the guy he was harrasing, was Chuck Norris.

You could have beat me, easily.

Possibly, but what would that prove?

Norris understood that it’s better to be kind than to fight.

Too often we let our egos dictate our actions. We all want to feel important, respected, listened to. We find it hard to give others those same things if we don’t feel we are getting them first. And of course, the people we meet are feeling the same way.

Several people have suggested that my friend and his team of moderators won’t be able to make that one rule work.

However, my friend, and many like him believe that people are good. And that if we hold them to a standard, they will rise to that standard.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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