The sign displayed on the doctor’s door stated a simple message.

“Must wear mask.”

A few times, the receptionist politely told a visiting woman and her son to put on their masks. The mother followed directions, but the son left the building to go “sit in his pickup.”

The grown man returned into the doctor’s office. With his mask hanging on one ear, he stated, ‘Well, I have my mask on.’”

After a couple minutes, an onlooker had a question. (It was my mom. She’s high risk to get COVID-19. Earlier this year, she was on a ventilator for several weeks after major heart surgery.)

“Excuse me, sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if I could give you instructions on how to put the rest of your mask on?” she asked.

The man stood up.

“There’s always a wisea— in the crowd,” he said.

“I didn’t start this, you did,” my mom replied.

The receptionist was rolling her eyes and asked my mom to come to the back to fill out her paperwork. She apologized for the man’s childish behavior.

Then Mom heard people raising their voices. The receptionist said the man was determined to go with his mother to see the doctor. She said he wouldn’t be allowed to without a mask.

When Mom left, the same man was sitting in the waiting room next to the outside door and wearing his mask properly. She gave him a thumbs up. He replied for her to have a nice evening.

This story has a happy ending. And it’s a great example of treating each other with respect.

My Grandma Collins used to lecture me about the “Golden Rule.” It’s a simple principle that even a child can understand. It basically means to treat others as you would want to be treated.

The concept dates back to Ancient Egypt and Confucius, and most of the world’s religions teach this ethic of reciprocity. If Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism and Zoroastrianism preaches it, it must be a pretty good rule of thumb.

Christians will recognize the “Golden Rule” as quoted by Jesus of Nazareth.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

In the late 1970s, we had a beach towel that read, “Do unto others, then split.” As a young kid, I wasn’t sure what it meant, but it seemed like a juvenile take on Grandma’s axiom.

Recently, a reporter was covering the latest back-and-forth attacks from two warring groups. The writer likened the tit-for-tat retaliation to those battling Bugs Bunny. It could be the quick-tempered Yosemite Sam, that feisty antagonist with a mustache, or the archenemy Elmer Fudd, relentlessly aiming for the rascally rabbit.

Regardless of the enemy, they would be taking perpetual potshots at each other in an escalating war of lunacy. It didn’t matter if one was right or wrong, just that the other side would retaliate with a harsher attack.

That reminds me of how people act today. I’m consistently amazed at how people will put others on blast on social media, like it’s rabbit season and they are channeling Mr. Fudd.

Instead of doing the right thing, they are constantly attacking the opposition, only to shoot themselves in the foot.

It’s sad that this subject must be written about, but Grandma was right.

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