Sunday, March 3, 2013

On the Golden Rule ...

The single most important axom amongst all religions is the Golden Rule.  From the days of ancient Greek philosophers to Babylon and the Code of Hammurabi to present day Christianity and Islam, the Golden Rule has remained a central tenet of morality.

Isocrates (Greek philosopher): Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others.
Christianity (Luke 6:31): And as you wish others would do to you, so do to them.
Confucianism: 己所不欲,勿施於人。(What you do not wish for yourself, do not wish for others.) 
Islam (Sunnah): No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself.
You get the idea, right?  So why is it that, as a general population of human beings, we have such a hard time embracing this incredibly simple virtue?  I wish I knew where I'd saved these pictures from earlier this week ... but I had pneumonia and took lots of medicines and can't give them the credit they deserve.  These pictures all got me thinking ... and I hope they get you thinking too.  The single biggest way we fail the Golden Rule is by lacking tolerance.  I'm not saying to be tolerant of murderous psychopaths ... I'm just saying be tolerant in general.  If someone disagrees with me, I need to respect his right to disagree as opposed to simply proclaiming him a worthless hellion.  I don't need to hate you because you hate me.  In fact, if you hate me for no reason, its even more reason for me to smile at you and be kind because I want to treat you how I want you to treat me.  Kill them with kindness.  If only I could actually kill people with kindness.  And if only I could take my own advice better.  :)

And then this morning, I read this really interesting article.  I don't agree with 100% of what it says ... but I do with most of it.  Take the time (2 minutes) to go and read it.

It is not my job to judge anyone ... someone else is going to take care of that on a much larger scale at a much later date.  It is not my job to spread hate in any form.  It is not my job to determine who is right and who is wrong when it comes to matters of personal belief.

It is my job to give everyone the respect I feel I deserve.  It is my job to politely and earnestly listen to viewpoints that differ from mine if I want people to politely and earnestly listen to me.  It is my job to spread compassion and tolerance.

As a population, it is our job to treat each other how we want to be treated.  If we all remember this this week and actually lived those words ... imagine what we could accomplish.  :)