Dr. George Thompson, the founder of Verbal Judo, was the first person I ever heard coin the term “Golden Rule Policing.” He defined it as treating people the way you would like be treated under similar circumstances. We can apply the same principle to our “deep-dive” analysis of character and Police Dynamics in this two-part series on the Golden Rule of Character.

Golden Rule of Character – Part 2

(I have to apologize for the quality of the second video. I filmed it on the beach and didn’t realize the wind and surf noise would be so loud. But it’s a short video, so please suffer through it…)

A fundamental truth, that I have found to be true far more often than not, is that the character flaws that irritate you about other people are often evident in your own life… and you don’t even know it. It’s a blindspot. And, by definition, you can’t see a blind spot.

Look at it from this perspective. Think about the least dependable person that you know. How does he want you to be in your dealings with him? Dependable, right? In fact, he will likely see a lack of dependability on someone else’s part as an irritant, because he has the same character flaw but doesn’t know it. Think about the least truthful person you know. How does he want you to be in your dealings with him? Truthful. The least punctual person you know wants you to be punctual with them, etc. These are examples of blindspots.

Now here’s the big one, especially for law enforcement. Think about the most rebellious, disobedient officer on the force. You know the one. He won’t follow policy, he won’t follow orders, he’s always out from under authority, he’s always looking for a way to buck the system, either passively or aggressively. What’s sends him into orbit faster than anything else on the streets? That’s right. Disobedience to him!

Thomas Jefferson recognized that Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament give us the best system of ethics ever devised. And the Golden Rule is the foundation.

“Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.”
Thomas Jefferson 

Years ago, I had the opportunity to train the entire Cincinnati Police Division in Police Dynamics. That’s a 1200-man force and I trained about 50 officers at a time. Do the math. That was a LOT of training days! But I remember one Cincinnati officer who summed it up this way. He said, “All this character stuff, it’s just about following the Golden Rule.”

You know, he was absolutely right. That’s the power of Jesus‘ teaching. The Golden Rule (found in Matthew 7:12) is the summation of good character. Because character is all about treating other people the way you would like to be treated. So if you want others to be truthful with you, you should be truthful with them. If you want them to be dependable to you, be dependable to them. Respectful? Show respect. Obedient? Be obedient. Punctual? Be punctual, etc, etc…

Jesus had it right…!

Sheriff Ray Nash from the beautiful Dreams Puerta Aventuras Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico


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3 Responses to Golden Rule of Character

  1. Dr. Alyn says:

    Great stuff AS USUAL Ray! I definitely have to watch for those blind spots 🙂

  2. Outstanding post! Too bad it didn’t come earlier in each officers training cycle. It might have changed a lot of police officers who have been brought up on departmental charges.

    Posted by Thomas P. Lansing, Sr., M.S. via LinkedIn

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"In the three years prior to our character initiative, we had 42 labor and employee grievances, and seven different lawsuits. In the three years since we put the character initiative in place, we have had two grievances and no lawsuits from employees. I think that, in and of itself, is significant."
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