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I think people are starting to forget the fact what they say online in most cases will be there for a while. You have to really think before you speak online because the power of viral marketing is quite strong.

@Lauren - "clever" doesn't show well in digital, permanent form. People still mistake email for conversation, it's not. We're not face to face. Real time has limitations, especially, as you point out, when making statements that could get someone in trouble, lightly.

@Scott - indeed, we see examples every day of taking the controversial route and getting attention. But drama has a way of spilling over into life and hurting people. Taking the high road can be challenging when you see so many others getting away with stuff. Long term, though, it's the best course. About your example, sometimes people really don't know or see themselves. Emotional intelligence and situational awareness are not a given. Just like common sense is, after all, not that common. Good of you to think about that instance a bit more carefully. The good news is that we learn all the time.

@Aaron - I wasn't familiar with the platinum rule, although I confess the metal is a favorite. I like that, we're constantly executing on trust. Well said.

@Jeff - never assume anything. Remember that we see the world as we are, all of us. yet. we're not all the same.

@Brian - and it doesn't have to be the same ones, either. The best help comes from the most unexpected places.

It can take a lifetime to earn someone's trust. That someone could be a long time friend or business partner, or it could be an entire target demographic of customers.

A simple breach of trust can undo everything you've worked long and hard to create in seconds.

The Golden Rule stands, although I find I'm using it more these days like this - "The more I genuinely try to help others, the more they seem to end up trying to help me."

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