Saturday, November 18, 2006

Time to revisit The Golden Rule


I remember very early in my primary school days being taught the Golden Rule. It is simple:

Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Somehow in the last 25 years, the Golden Rule has been changed. Instead of thinking of others first, it is gratify me, satisfy me – screw everyone else. As a result, our families are being broken apart, our schools are filled with bullying, our workplaces are cold and isolated, our provinces are fighting for equal funding, and our countries are at war. Rather than throw multi-million dollar “awareness” and “support” bandaids at these sores, we need to fix the root problem. How? Let’s start with revisiting The Golden Rule.

What they didn’t tell us in primary school is that The Golden Rule is a fundamental moral principle found in virtually all major religions and cultures. Although it takes on many forms when translated or written in English, it is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights.

"Love your neighbor as yourself." — Moses (ca. 1525-1405 BCE) in the Torah, Leviticus 19:18

"What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others." — Confucius (ca. 551–479 BCE)

"What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man." — Hillel (ca. 50 BCE-10 CE)

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." — Jesus (ca. 5 BCE—33 CE) in the Gospels, Luke 6:31; Luke 10:27 (affirming of Moses)— Matthew 7:12

"Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you." — Muhammad (c. 571 – 632 CE) in The Farewell Sermon.

"This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you. " — Mahabharata 5:1517

"Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. " — Udana-Varga 5,1

"No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself." — Sunnah. Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi 13

Let’s start fixing our families, our schools, our workplaces, our provinces and our world. But let’s start with the basics – the foundation - let’s start by putting ourselves in other people’s shoes. Let’s start with the Golden Rule.

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