I've been thinking about this lately. Particularly in relation to the person that I am relating to the most. The thing is I feel like I am justified in freaking out (mildly freaking out) if he sets his cup of water down on the bed and (obviously...to me) it spills. Or if he's trying to annoy me or whatever. But if I am practicing the golden rule, I would never react in a negative manner like that to him. Because I would feel bad if someone reacted like that to me--EVEN if I "deserved" it. Just because I screwed up, doesn't mean I want to be yelled at. Even if it's only a mild "yelling."
I was trying to think how I would like to be treated when I do things like Caleb does (because we all act like three year old's sometimes, in our own way). There was recently a post on the Zen Habits blog that began: There’s something so powerfully simple, profoundly beautiful, about the Dalai Lama’s quote: “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” And that gave me my answer: I would like to be treated with kindness. No matter how annoying, aggravating, careless or clumsy I am I would like to be treated kindly.
Right now, I have an employer who yells at people a lot, and it's really made me aware of when I am harsh and unkind and sarcastic. It really takes an effort (for me at least) to hold back the automatic scolding or impatience when it comes to my son. I'm pretty laidback, but living in a van seems to bring out the worst in me. I've always had my own room in a big house, with plenty of alone time, and I am working hard to adjust to close, cramped living conditions.
My mantra in the van and on the farm has been to recite the fruits of the spirit to myself.
Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version)22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Something about just saying the words calms me down and helps me remember how much I love my son, and how I can't treat him poorly just because we are familiar.