Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Golden Rule

“Blessed are those who prefer others before themselves.” – Baha’u’llah (Baha’i Faith)
“Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” – Buddha
“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” – Jesus
“Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.” – Confucius
“Do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.” – Hindu proverb
“You are not a believer until you desire for another that which you desire for yourself.” – Islamic saying
“Regard all creatures as you would regard your own self.” – Lord Mahavir 24th Tirthankara (Jainism)
“What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: That is the entire Torah; all the rest is just commentary.” – Talmud, Shabbat 31a (Judaism)
“Be not estranged from another for God dwells in every heart.” – Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Sikhism)
“An’ it harm none, do what you will.” – Wiccan Rede

How many prophets, saints, sages, gurus, avatars, teachers, healers, and shamans need to say it? Instead of fighting over who we get to discriminate against, whose view of religion will exclude them from eternal paradise, or who should be subverient to whom, why can't we just get that if we wouldn't want to be treated a certain way, then we shouldn't treat others in that way. Perhaps the Golden Rule is golden because, like a precious metal, few people seem to have much exposure to it.

Relationship over rules; Love over law. "Peace on earth, goodwil toward all." It's pretty simple, and every religious tradition seems to have access to this truth. So, why all the pugnacity, wars, bigotry, homophobia, and acrimony? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...I suppose its easier to worship Jesus than to follow his directive to love. But the world needs us to do the hard but important work of loving, forgiving, and sharing. It really is time.

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