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Platinum Rule, Gratitude, and Sugar-Free Gum

Episode 5:  Show Notes

This three-part episode first compares the Golden Rule and the Platinum Rule.  Second it reviews the pros and cons of chewing sugar-free gum.  The third part explores the 5 Ws and the H (Who, What, When, Where, Why & How) of Gratitude.

Part 1: The Platinum Rule. Have you heard of it?

We have all heard of the Golden Rule-and many of us try to live by it. The Golden Rule originated from the Bible – Luke 6:31New International Version. It simply says –“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

However, some folks believe that the Golden Rule is a bit lacking.  For example, Drs. Tony Alessandra & Michael O’Connor , authors of the book named the Platinum Rule and several products based on this principle have a different perspective.  They say that the Golden Rule implies the basic assumption that other people would like to be treated the way that you would like to be treated.

Instead they propose that we should “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”  The Platinum Rule accommodates the feelings of others. The focus of relationships shifts from “this is what I want, so I’ll give everyone the same thing” to “let me first understand what they want and then I’ll give it to them.”

Platinum is a metal known for being very pliable – bending without breaking.  But gold is actually the most malleable metal, often used for fine jewelry.

As I was reading a little about platinum versus gold, I found that each has pros and cons. Platinum holds diamonds in place more securely but will scratch more easily. Interestingly, some jewelers will recommend combining the two to obtain the benefits of both.  A platinum setting to hold the stone and a gold band that won’t scratch as easily.

The Golden Rule

You have to be careful about pulling a verse out to stand on its own, pulling it out of context.  Because it can lose its full meaning.  For example, if I wrote down my street address but only gave you the street name, like “Main street or Broad Street.”  Would you have any idea how to find me?  Do you know how many main or broad streets there are across the US or around the world?

The same holds true for many scripture verses, they lose their full value when separated from the other verses or sentences that go with it.

Let’s take another look at Luke 6 – but this time verses 27-31, not just 31.

Love for Enemies

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Looking at the verbs, what do you see?

  • Love
  • Do good
  • Bless
  • Pray
  • Give without reservation

What we don’t see if any sign of selfishness.  It’s not about possessions that I want to give or that you want to receive.  It’s about loving enemies and other people who do not appear to be on our side.  We are called to love them anyway.

The Platinum Rule

Now I do want to share a story with you.  This was probably back in high school now that I think about it.  My friend Stephanie & I used to exchange Christmas gifts and since it happens at a cold time of year – we often got each other sweaters.

She loved primary colors but I loved pastels.  So what did we do, she bought me primary colored sweaters and I bought her pastels.  Both of gave what we would have liked to receive.  But neither of us got what we would have preferred to receive.  It looks us awhile to figure this out, but maturity has a way of showing you all the ways you’ve messed up and eventually we changed our behavior.

So, even though I’m not ready to toss out the Golden Rule, I do like the Platinum Rule too.

It is important to meet people where they are, to meet their desires when you can.  If you like chocolate and I give you strawberry – the results are just not the same.

The Dilemma with Both Rules

  • “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
  • “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”

The problem is that individuals can sometimes get off-kilter and feel they deserve harm or punishment.  Or that they are required to inflict those things on others.


For example, a young man grows up in a home where he is constantly pushed to be perfect.  As an adult, he view imperfection worthy of punishment.  So, when his wife doesn’t get dinner prepared on time because she is caring for a sick child, he punishes her with neglect.  That is what he is used to and would expect others to do to him.

Another example is someone who is used to being given everything without working for it.  As a young adult, this young woman believes she should be given a hefty raise because she was prompt each day although she has not met any of her goals. That’s what she wants, should the boss give it to her?

As you can see, both the golden & platinum rules have potential problems associated with them.

In my opinion, it is important for us to be aware of both rules and apply them when appropriate.  BUT, using common sense and critical thinking, we have to look at the bigger picture.  Someone may not want things that are healthy, or feel they deserve poor treatment.  In those cases, wisdom supercedes and we need to adjust our actions.

In this was we will be enhancing the health of others & ourselves.  And we may even identify some health barriers that need to be broken thru.

Dr. Terri’s Heath Tip & Challenge of the Week

7  Reasons Chewing Gum is Bad (by Robin Konie)

  • Jaw problems
  • Artificial sweetener risks
  • Can cause headaches
  • Other fake ingredients
  • Masks but doesn’t cure bad breath
  • May hinder metabolism
  • Excess swallowed air can cause stomach aches

I’m also including links to a few other websites that discuss potential dangers of chewing sugar-free gum.  One is from the livestrong.com site, another The Not-So-Sweet Skinny on Sugar-free Gum Sweeteners by Bill Chameides, former dean of Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment from 2007 to 2014.

  • When I examined some of the research available on this topic, it was mixed. Some articles focused on the benefits of gum use, others pointed out the potential risk.
  • Some Benefits were
    • Increased saliva
    • Improved bowel motility
    • Increased relaxation and decreased stress
    • Occupy your mouth instead of eating or smoking

CHALLENGE- evaluate your sugar-free gum use.

  • Are you using it for a medical reason that is recommended by a care provider?
  • Is your gum use occasional? Then it may be just fine for you to continue doing what you are doing.
  • If you are using sugar-free gum on a regular or excessive basis, you may want to consider cutting back.
  • Why risk it, if you don’t have to?
  • Switch to drinking water instead, it’s a healthier option!

Part 2: Gratitude

  • Defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
  • Let’s discuss the 5 Ws & the H of Gratitude.
    • Who should be thankful? Everyone has something to be grateful for.  You may not always feel like you do, especially when things are not working out your way.  But you can benefit from an attitude of gratitude.  As a Registered Nurse, I have seen people lose even the basics of life and still remain grateful.  Here are a few things that most of us can be thankful for every day.
      • Got air? Be thankful you can breathe easily.
      • God vision? Be thankful you can see.
      • Just have a fight with someone? Be grateful you can speak & have a mind that can form an opinion.
    • What should we be grateful for?
      • The basics: Clean water, safe food, a roof over our heads.
      • The blessings: I am grateful for many blessings this year. After 5 years I completed my Doctoral degree and no longer have to pay tuition bills.  My husband & I also celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  To be married for such a long time is becoming more & more uncommon, so that’s something to be thankful for.  And my parents celebrated their 50th anniversary, even more rare to make it to that point.
    • Where & When should we express gratitude?
      • Anywhere works & whenever it comes to mind.
      • You may also want to consider making it a regular habit. Once or twice a week (or even daily) set aside a few minutes to appreciate your life and all that you have been given.
    • Why should we be grateful?
      • This answer could get a bit philosophical or even spiritual. But I’m just going to share a few general reasons.
        • What are the options? You can choose to be miserable.  Since misery loves company, you can hang around all day & all night with the mopers.
        • Being positive (a glass half-full person) has many health benefits, perhaps we can explore more them another day. But overall you benefit from choosing to be thankful.
        • You can help others & change the mood in the room. Your words do impact other people.  You can bring them down and encourage them to focus on the problems of life.  Or you can turn them toward focusing on the positive & the blessings.
    • Lastly, How should we show appreciation?
      • Perhaps you’re one of those people who are naturally appreciative and do it all the time. In all honesty, I’m not one of them!
        • In that case, you have to make a point of doing it. After dinner at someone’s home, after receiving a gift, when someone does something for you that they didn’t have to.
      • Sometimes it can be helpful to develop a regular habit of being grateful. You can create a daily journal to keep track.  One of my Facebook friends listed her thanks online for several months in a row.
      • You may even consider challenging friends to do the same.
      • One final way that I wanted to share if being thankful even when everything didn’t go as planned.
        • This past year I decided not to renew my teaching contract. I just felt it was time to move on and to expand on some of my other skill sets.
        • But I was still immensely appreciative of the opportunities that job brought me.
        • I had excellent coworkers, hundreds of wonderful students and many opportunities for personal growth and professional development.One final way that I wanted to share if being thankful even when everything didn’t go as planned.

Resources in this Episode

Tony Allesandra- The Platinum Rule
Harmful Effects of Eating Sugarless Gum Everyday
The Not So Sweet Skinny on Sugar-Free Gum
Sugar Subsitutes:  A Health Review

Reflection Questions

  • Are you a gumaholic? If so, consider cutting back or stopping all together.
  • Is there someone in your life that would benefit from more regular use of the Golden Rule or the Platinum Rule? Are you ready to start using them more today?
  • What are you grateful for today?

Ways to Connect with Me:

Subscribe, rate, and review “Breaking Thru Health Barriers with Dr. Terri Wenner” in iTunes so you never miss an episode. Always feel free to drop use the contact form on my website to send me your comments and questions.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


  1. Thank you Dr. Terri so much for researching & discussing sugarless gum! Greatly appreciate this! I love listening to your casts!

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