The Platinum Rule

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In an effort to alleviate some of the confusion experienced when living in a foreign culture, Milton Bennett, an acclaimed cross-cultural researcher, created the Platinum Rule, which states: “Treat others the way they want to be treated (or at least be aware of what that is).”

People are different and hold different values and expectations; we encourage our students to try to empathize with host cultural values. By making the initial social leap of recognizing difference, and then looking to understand how those differences are manifested, crossing cultures is simplified and enriched. Furthermore, being aware of how a person expects to be treated from a service standpoint, e.g. at a store, restaurant, or an educational institution, can make these experiences more understandable and less trying.