Travelers need to know Why the Golden Rule is not Enough
What is the difference between the Golden and Platinum Rule?
Whether you travel for business or pleasure, or want to know how to simply interact with people from a different cultural background than yours, you’ve all heard of using the Golden Rule – treat others the way you want to be treated. However in a world in which the cultural differences and boundaries have blurred due to increased mobility and socio-economic means, the Platinum Rule is definitely more appropriate.
The difference is not in semantics only, the difference is so critical and deep rooted in our psychology of needs for affirmation that when used, the Platinum Rule makes a world of difference, opening doors you thought impossible to open. The Platinum Rule will serve you better when embarking on experiential travel as it requires you to let go of all expectations and closely observe the locals, how they interact with each other and the value they place in relationships and giving hospitality.
What is the difference between the Golden and Platinum Rule then? Both rules have an implied propensity and choice for treating other with RESPECT, however the Platinum Rule goes one step further and is definitely more meaningful. So here it goes: Treat others like they would want to be treated. This implies that as you travel and interact with locals, you are taking the time to get to know each other, you have a genuine curiosity about people’s roots, values, upbringing, struggles, and all the things that matter to a person more than you can guess on your own. Find out first hand, with no assumptions and no expectations. The Platinum Rule leads to richer interactions especially as you travel and interact with the Italians, the Argentines, the Brazilians, the French and so on. It helps you understand how people want to be treated which automatically translates into respect and social bonding. If you reference the Golden Rule instead, you may end up treating others in a way that does not meet how they would want to be treated. While you can still have a great time, you will have played it safe, possibly coming across as too private and closed off.
When you don’t know the way of the land; ask! This always leads to treating others the way they want to be treated especially when your way may actually be opposite of theirs and perhaps offensive. The Platinum Rule is the perfect match for experiential travelers as it encourages you to be curious about the differences you see and you come away informed first hand!