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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Friday 16 August 2013

The Universal Golden Rule

The Golden Rule teaches that we should treat others as we, ourselves, would wish to be treated. This basic ethic is repeated in a multitude of variations in the texts of all the great religions of the world.
And, really, what else is there to say?

Bahá'í Faith
If thou lookest for justice, choose thou for others what thou chooses for thyself.
Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.
If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
This is the sum of all true righteousness: deal with others as thou wouldst thyself be dealt by. Do nothing to thy neighbor, which thou wouldst not have him do to thee after.
No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
Indifferent to worldly objects, a man should wander about, treating all creatures in the world as he himself would be treated.
What is hateful to you do not to others. That is the entire Law, all the rest is commentary.
Native American
The Universe is the Mirror of the People, and each person is a Mirror to every other person.
As thou deemest thyself, so deem others; then shalt thou become a partner in Heaven.
Irrespective of their nationality, language, manners and culture, men should give mutual aid, and enjoy reciprocal, peaceful pleasure by showing in their conduct that they are brethren.
The good man ought to pity the malignant tendencies of others; to rejoice over their excellence; to help them in their straits; to regard their gains as if they were his own, and their losses in the same way.
And ye harm none, do what ye will, lest in thy self-defense it be, ever mind the rule of three.
That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self.
Most of us were raised with one or another version of the Golden Rule: "Love thy neighbor as thyself." And, unfortunately most of us do live according to it. That is to say, we do treat our neighbors as we treat ourselves -- which is not very well, at all!
But there is an oft-overlooked caveat to the Golden Rule.
Notice that there are endless permutations on the theme "Do Unto Others What You Would Have Others Do Unto You." Or, "Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself." But not one -- not one single one -- says anything like "Love Thy Neighbor More than Thyself."
It is very clear that love of thy neighbor is predicated on the assumption of love for thyself.
How can we, after all, love humanity as a whole and not love ourselves? Are we not included? If we are not human, what are we? Some slug-like subspecies? Deities on high, exempt from the human struggle? Rocks?
Imagine the world full of people who honor their own sacred worth and grant that same respect to every other person on Earth.
What a golden world it would be!

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