How My 2 Year Old Taught Me the Value of the Platinum Rule

I was a strict vegetarian for 14 years, and had many times over sworn that I would “never” eat meat.  That is, until I found myself 6 months pregnant, and severely anemic.  The iron pills were no fun and despite my best efforts, my highly-sensitive pregnancy diet was just not cutting it.  My midwife was pretty adamant that my body needed some high-quality heme iron (from animal sources, which provide highly efficient & absorbable iron vs. non-heme iron from vegetable sources that are not as well absorbed).

So after much internal turmoil, I convincing myself it was ONLY for the duration of my pregnancy, and dove right in to some organic, grass-fed filet mignon.  And ooooh baby, talk about instant satisfaction!  It was like my body was re-fueled and I was bursting with energy and vitality that had long-since been sapped.   My husband, who is from Texas, likes to joke that his son was just asserting that he had his Daddy in him, and that my hippie ways weren’t going to be his way! 😉

While I still believe strongly in the benefits of a vegetarian/ vegan lifestyle (and will continue to largely follow), I have come to realize that I will probably continue to eat meat through my child-bearing years at least.  All I can say is, it’s workin’ for me….for now (and possibly longer).   What I do know with certainty, however, is that every time I say “I will never…”, I end up eating my words!!!

OK, let’s flash forward just over 2 years later.  My son Kyan is OBSESSED with the movie Cars (which he has now seen twice, but somehow had the obsession long before ever seeing it).  He has quite a collection of the cars, knows their names and carries a few of them with him at all times.  So there we were standing in Kohl’s, looking for a new pair of shoes for him, and having no luck finding anything I liked in his size (yes I did say “I” ~ c’mon, I’m realistic that I only have so much longer to be in charge of his wardrobe!) 🙂

And then suddenly, he spotted them.  A pair of shoes, out of their box, waaaay in the back …. with none other than the main character from Cars on the sides,  Lightning McQueen himself.  I quickly scanned the area and determined they were a lone straggling pair, and felt quite confident that the one pair left couldn’t possibly be in his size….. but no such luck of course!   With Kyan jumping up and down in absolutely glee, I could do nothing but try the shoes on and resign myself to the fact that my son was asserting his independence and it might be time to let go. (sigh)

And then it happened.

Shoes now on, Kyan resumed his jumping and his delight multiplied in an instant.  Wide-eyed and in utter disbelief, I glanced at my husband (who at this point is having a field day on my behalf!) as the shoes LIGHT UP in both the front and back with each jump.  Now, as cool and fun as this may sound, you must know that pre-motherhood I had sworn up and down that I would NEVER put my child in those annoying flashy shoes!   From my current vantage point, I really have absolutely no idea why, but suffice to say it was one of those things that for some reason just drove me crazy at the time!

Now, if we were playing by the Golden Rule here ~ do unto others as you would have done unto you ~ we’d have high-tailed it out of the store, because I’m quite clear that I won’t be donning flashing shoes anytime soon (well at least not on a daily basis! ;).  But then again, the Golden Rule really pertains to moral and ethical issues….

So what are we to do in a situation like this, then?

Enter the Platinum Rule. Do unto others as they would do unto themselves, or put simply, treat others as THEY want to be treated (not as YOU want to be treated)!

An expression coined by Dr. Tony Alessandra, which requires listening and tuning in to others to determine their unique needs, wants and desires, and then doing your best to satisfy them accordingly.   By doing so, you become a person of immense value and contribution, and in turn create highly productive relationships.

I love what it says on The Platinum Rule website in comparing the two rules:  “Ah hah! What a difference. The Platinum Rule accommodates the feelings of others. The focus of relationships shifts from “this is what I want, so I’ll give everyone the same thing” to “let me first understand what they want and then I’ll give it to them.”

In essence, Dr. Alessandra has created a variation of the commonly studied sales tactic of understanding communication styles (a great passion of mine), and trademarked it with an intelligent evolution of the widely respected and lived by principle of the Golden Rule.

As a full-time network marketer, the Platinum Rule is the quintessential prospecting secret.  All too often, eager newbie networkers jump into conversations thinking about THEIR needs (ie: making sure the person sees how knowledgeable they are, closing the deal, etc.) and repelling the prospect because they didn’t see what was in it for them.  When we tune in to other people and truly serve THEM, doors open where there were no doors, and abundance and prosperity flourish.

It’s like my sons shoes.  Despite my pre-motherhood “I would never….” rant, I didn’t hesitate for a second in buying those flashy Lightning McQueen shoes.  One look at my sweet boy’s face and my heart was filled to brim!  It was not at all about what I would do, but what would serve his happiness and our relationship.

And if you could have seen that first night home, it was absolutely magical!  He was a little track star for hours, racing all around the house, jumping up and down and giggling nonstop.  That is, until bedtime, when our non-tantrumy child threw the fit of his lifetime when he was not allowed to go to bed with the shoes on!  Yeah, that one took a few days!

Unfortunately I didn’t break out the video camera that first day (sadly that happens sometimes when I’m caught up in the moment), but here’s a clip from the following morning that I hope you enjoy!

Kyan’s joy was my joy, and continues to be a month later as those shoes are his most prized possession.  I know it will be a rough day when he outgrows them, but there will be another opportunity for an important life lesson in grieving, acceptance and letting go.  Wish me luck!  😉

If you have a story of a time you said you’d “never” and then ate your words, please share in the comments, I’m sure this could make for a lively conversation!

“Never say never, for if you live long enough, chances are you will not be able to abide by its restrictions. Never is a long, undependable time, and life is too full of rich possibilities to have restrictions placed upon it.” ~ Gloria Swanson

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39 Responses to “How My 2 Year Old Taught Me the Value of the Platinum Rule”

  1. Great insight, Beth.

    Empathy really is about walking in the other person’s shoes (flashing or traditional).

    If we can be empathetic with people we mentor or otherwise serve, we will be sure to give them true value by addressing THEIR concerns, rather than OUR teaching preferences.

    PS: I always swore (to my mother), that I would NOT marry someone like my mother. But, of course, I did… I’m happy to admit!
    .-= David Merrill´s last blog ..Community Prayer: We Are All Related =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, I think that one might come up for a lot of people ~ funny how that happens, isn’t it? My husband is a lot like my dad in many ways as well….ways I too swore I’d never marry….and am also happy I did! 🙂

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  2. Beth,
    What a great way to turn a hard lesson into a fun post. It takes a lot of courage to give in to something you think will stand for ever. However, when you’re looking into the eyes of the little man that is so near to your heart I can understand why you’d bend.

    Learning what it is that someone else is looking for and then helping them attain it allows you to really stand a part for others. Doing this is a gift and will take you far.
    .-= Don Enck´s last blog ..The iPad…Is This The Future Of Computer Technology? =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Don! I don’t know that it took courage per se, to give in to the flashy shoes, but the principle at large (like the meat eating), yes, for sure! And yes, I have a feeling I will bend often for Kyan….and happily. 🙂

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  3. Hi Beth,
    What an awesome share loved it. I do my best to avoid using “I never” as everytime I do I end doing exactly that. Maybe it’s a good idea to say I never for the things you really want.

    Wait a minute I am on to something here, I did say that I would never find love again and I did so maybe it activates a universal principal or something like that.

    Enjoyed the video of Kyan was awesome reminded me of when my kids were that age my son now almost 20 loved that purple guy Barney.

    Great Post

    Garth

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Glad you enjoyed it Garth! And by golly, I think you are on to something! 😉 Maybe I’ll rethink my use of “I never…” ~ it might just have it’s place after all! 🙂

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  4. Aloha Beth,

    Such a great lesson being taught by your “master” teacher. Children are the best teachers and as they get older, they are even more masterful!

    I love the video of your son and his fancy shoes! Brings back memories of when my son was that age!

    Thank you for the great lesson and the wisdom of experience.

    Aloha,
    Kellie 🙂
    .-= Kellie Hosaka´s last blog ..Why Daily Affirmations Are One Of The Crucial Keys To Success =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, Kyan is my “master” teacher for sure ~ definitely the best ever! 🙂 Happy to hear that my video is bringing back great memories for a lot of you….enjoy them!

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  5. Beth,
    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I think Kellie hit the mark when she called children “Master” teachers. They look at life & say “Why Not” while we say “Why?”

    I was curious about the Platinum rule until you explained yourself. This does makes so much sense!
    Thanks for your wonderful insights 🙂
    Val
    .-= Val Wilcox´s last blog ..How Many Rocks Are in Your Backpack? =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Val! I must say that having children really is the greatest reminder of that … Truly, why not? 🙂

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  6. Hi Beth! This is such a precious video and a wonderful post! One of the best parts of having children is that they force us to see the world in new ways. You will be fully initiated when you let him wear the shoes to bed! My son used to sleep with his skateboard! LOL!

    It is a miraclous journey!

    Mentor Mama

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Nancy, I love you! You crack me up, and are for sure a mentor mama. I will let you know when I’m fully initiated! 😉

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  7. Hey Beth…I have a “I never” story. Myself, my wife and our seven children all live in Sacramento currently. Growing up in Napa I swore there was only one place I would never live. That’s right…Sacramento.

    We have built great relationships here and we really like it. It has many things to offer…which are not important at the moment. The thing is…I was truly ignorant in my stance of “I never will live in Sacramento.”

    I have learned over the years to simply live and not engage in that type of self-talk.

    Thanks for the great and insightful post Beth!

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    That’s funny ~ as a San Fran. girl, I have an idea that Sac. would not be a place I could ever live ~ but I also know that I’ve lived many places and always found great friends and enjoyed the best of the town. I will have to come visit soon! 🙂

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  8. This truly is an insight of walking in another’s shoes!! Your post put an endearing smile on my face- and a motivation to truloy keep othyers perspective in the forefront of my mind!
    .-= Julianna Brower´s last blog ..Complementary Strengths- Within A Tribe =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Glad to hear you enjoyed this post ~ and yes, keeping others perspective in mind allows a lot of things to unfold that would not otherwise have happened!

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  9. There’s that old… “never say never” phrase again!

    The platinum rule certainly gives me cause to stop and think. I certainly agree that as Julianna said that we need to keep anothers perspective in mind. However, I can also see times that, coming from the things we know, we can also stand to be “bigger people”, and more kind and gentle than someone may be with themselves. A person going through a crisis may be belittling to themselves and we certainly want to raise above that. Powerful perspectives indeed!

    Hope Kyan is still adoring his lightup shoes!
    .-= Kimberly Castleberry´s last blog ..List Building – The Cornerstone of Internet Marketing =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Kimberly, yes indeed…..a person going through a crisis should be as gentle with themselves as they would be with another….. 🙂 xoxo

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  10. Your son is precious.The Platinum Rule is great.So many Network marketers jump on new prospects or spam everyone on Social Media.I really enjoyed this post and have shared it on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy your son.My son is 23 and I miss him so much.They grow up fast.
    .-= Beverly Monical´s last blog ..The Next Best and Greatest Business Is… =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Beverly! 🙂 They do grow fast….doing my best to treasure every second!

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  11. Ahhh! Love this! Your beautiful little guy is living his passion and surrounded in the things he loves… I so love watching his joy, pride and free spirit in action Beth. Thanks for sharing that and for reminding us the everyday importance of giving in a way that does spread that joy.
    .-= Robin Lynn Brooks´s last blog ..Teachable & Doable Social Media Networking =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    You are most welcome Robin! There really is nothing better than the spirit of children! 🙂

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  12. Oh my gosh Beth – soooo adorable. Yes my Mom taught me the platinum rule many years ago and glad to see it is still “in play”. – And hey your kids grow up so fast but you will remember how happy those shoes made him for the rest of your life:)
    .-= Glyna Humm´s last blog ..Is Your Online Marketing Working? How Do You Know? =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Glyna. Yes, they do grow up fast …. I am doing my best to soak it all up every second I can. 🙂

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  13. Hi Beth,
    This post brought back so many memories, I don’t even know where to begin! first, about eating meat: while I am also conscientious about eating less animal and more plant, I have to admit that NOTHING comes close to satisfying me than a medium-rare grass-fed petite filet. I totally understand the feeling you described of feeling instantly nourished and satisfied. It’s amazing, isn’t it?
    As far as the “never eating my words,” I have something similar to what David Merrill wrote above. I swore I would never be in a relationship with someone bossy and overbearing like my uncle and my mom (brother and sister with very similar personalities), yet…here I am today madly in love with just that person! I think it’s interesting that you are married to a beef-loving Texan and you are a vegan “hippie.” 🙂 Just goes to show you how magical our connections with others truly are!
    By the way…my son owned lots of light-up shoes despite my initial hesitation.
    Mary Lou
    .-= Mary Lou Kayser´s last blog ..How Are You Really Doing in Your Primary Network Marketing Opportunity? =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Mary Lou ~ we definitely have to connect on skype sometime soon, we seem to have so much in common! Thanks for sharing your “I’ll never” ~ yes, connections are truly magical! 🙂

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  14. I was a vegetarian for many years and then I got married and it was easier to keep the wife happy by changing my diet than to insist on being different.

    As to Cars, I thought that movie was pretty good but then my kids have always said I would watch anything.

    Lastly, the platinum rule, I would like to say that makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks for sharing that with us.
    .-= Sire´s last blog ..Scientific Revelation Explaining Why Some A Listers Are Assholes =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Well done on knowing that a happy wife is a happy home! 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Sire!

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  15. I’m now “inspired” to make a stop at Payless Shoe Source and buy Jeremy a pair of the shoes he wanted – A flashy Woody from Toy Story 2 sneaker. I too told myself I would never have my son wear…let alone own a pair of those flashy shoes. I don’t know why either…just not fond of them 😉

    Thanks for helping me to see that yes, at times we need to really let go and do what The Golden Rule tells us to do.

    Thanks again, Beth. -Jaclyn
    http://JaclynCastro.com

    PS. I think I’m about to “eat my words” lol!
    .-= Jaclyn Castro´s last blog ..7 Productivity Secrets For You! =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Glad I could inspire, Jaclyn! I have to say, it is really freeing! I have no doubt your son will enjoy his Toy Story sneakers ~ I just hope that you enjoy his joy! 😉

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  16. Thanks Beth, great content here and really taken to heart. This needs to be on the forefront of our intentions with others now as we walk through life!
    .-= Bill Cowan´s last blog ..Climbing Michi’s Ladder =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Bill, so glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for stopping by!

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  17. Ah, the never-say-never lesson! What better way to learn it than from your precious little boy. Thanks for sharing, Beth. This was a day brightener for me!
    .-= Teresa Ivory´s last blog ..Decisions: What does your heart tell you? =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    So happy my story could brighten your day! Thanks for stopping by Teresa!

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  18. “…out of the mouths of babes…”

    Hopefully there is not much daylight between how people wanted to be treated and how we want to treat ourselves.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hopefully…but not always so! While I think *most* people probably share a lot of core values, people are all individual and have different needs, wants and desires….so if we focus on treating people based on what WE want but they want something different, well what good is that? That’s why this platinum rule is so valuable in my mind! Thanks for visiting Charles!

    [Reply]

  19. I have been in the same situations. The ones which you have to do what you swore never to do. At times the things you said you will never do come our way and you just have to do what you said you will never do. Interesting post.

    [Reply]

  20. I’m really amazed with your post. I remember watching cars with the kids, it’s really fun. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story.

    [Reply]

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Customer Excellence by Eric Jacques - 15. Jun, 2010

    The Platinum Rule…

    I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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