Christopher Harris Posted over 2 years ago What if the TED Community worked together to build the model 21st century learning environment? What would it look like? While the "Golden Rule" is certainly a good start...why not take that a step even further? Why don't we treat people the way that THEY want to be treated, instead of the way WE want to be treated? People are different. People have distinct learning preferences (visual, auditory, kinetic, etc), people have different preferences when interacting/communicating with others, some people are "big picture" thinkers, while others care passionately about the details. Rather than assume that everyone is like me, wants what I want, and responds as I respond...wouldn't it be more productive to teach me to adapt my interactions with others based on trying to understand THEIR needs and not just my own? It requires learning a bit about them, socializing, asking questions, and generally having a less "self-centric" viewpoint...but that might not be a bad thing. I'm sure there are some tribal practices (such as cannibalism) in the world where it is considered an "honor" to be eaten by someone...and most people in that group would welcome that honor. While I'm not going to judge their behavior/culture, I can certainly say that it's not an honor that I would share. Just an observation that the Golden Rule may not be the ultimate filter through which to shape the world or to make decisions. Absent any information (or ability to get information - which is rare as long as you are willing to take the time to inquire) then the Golden Rule might serve in a pinch. But, in my opinion, it is not the highest standard to which we can aspire. Treating others the way YOU want to be treated results in you treating the people who are actually like you the "correct way", for everyone else it falls short of perfect. Treating others the way THEY want to be treated results in you AND everyone else being treated the way that they want to be treated.