Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you. I am quite certain I didn’t write that exactly as it is written in the Bible but its close enough. I also find it to be one of the hardest things to do in life.
Even as a born again Christian, I find it extremely difficult. It is something that must be always in the forefront of your mind. To do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Do you think like that? Do the characters you create in your writing think like that?
Now I was raised on the “do unto others before they have a chance to do unto you” type of thinking. Most of us are whether we believe it or not. Then there is the “do unto others harder than they did unto you” type of thinking. Revenge is often a powerful motivator to human beings.
It makes for great stories. A large majority of both dramas and action thrillers are based on revenge as the motivator. Revenge can be written as something sweet or horrifying. One of the best books I’ve read with revenge as the motivator is The Count of Monte Cristo.
I have enjoyed all the works of Alexander Dumas. However, I prefer The Count of Monte Cristo over The Three Musketeers.
Now that I think about it, one of the best examples of doing unto others before they can do unto you is another of Dumas’ works – The Man in the Iron Mask. A great story about a mysterious time in France’s history. A work of fiction which could just as easily be based upon truth. Though make no doubt about it, the entire plot is based upon the do unto others before they do unto you type of thinking.
Let’s do some thinking shall we? Think about what motivates you? Think about how you act each day. About how you interact with those around you. Do your actions fall under the “do unto others as you would have them do to you” type of actions or are your motivations for action based on something else entirely?
Mine are. I’m selfish. Period. End of sentence. When I look at my own actions, I realize I am all about me. Even when I do something which appears to be a selfless act, is it? Think about it. What does motivate you to do the things you do?
Of course, some of the things we do are indeed motivated towards helping others. But why do we do them? Is it because we feel a need, a duty; or is it because we genuinely feel we need to help?
As I end this blog post I want to ask you to do something. Take a day. Any day really. It doesn’t matter which. I want you to spend that day with the “do unto others as you want them to do unto you” frame of mind. Keep it in the forefront. Ask yourself each time you do something if it meets the requirements of that simple sentence.
In one day, you will be provided with more answers about yourself than any amount of counseling. In one day, you will learn more about motivation than you will in a year in college classes about human behavior. Then, when you are done, use this education to adapt your characters. Your writing will change because in your understanding about motivations, human motivations, will all change.
Besides, what harm can it do?
I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief at The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.