The Golden Rule has been taught by countless philosophers and spiritual masters throughout time; though it seems to be a rule many have forgotten.
Living the Golden Rule means to have empathy for others, to be kind, compassionate, understanding, and to show respect. It goes right along with the spiritual masters’ teachings to love one another. Basically, it just means to treat others the way you want to be treated. Sure, others will treat us badly, but we are only responsible for the way we ourselves treat others.
The rule is in just about every religion imaginable, but it has somehow gotten lost among all the other verses in the Holy Scriptures that people use to keep us separated. To me, the Golden Rule and the verses to love one another should be front and center in any religion. Some credit Jesus for the rule, and yet it is also in many writings that preceded him.
Here are a few from the various religions:
Baha’i: Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.
Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
Confucianism: Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.
Hinduism: This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.
Islam: Not one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
Native American: All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One.
Sikhism: I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.
Taoism: Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
Unitarianism: We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence.
Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself.
Mike Dooley said, “When you understand that what most people really, really want is simply to feel good about themselves, and when you realize that with just a few well-chosen words you can help virtually anyone on the planet instantly achieve this, you begin to realize just how simple life is, how powerful you are, and that love is the key.” And Edwin Markham proclaimed, “We have committed the Golden Rule to memory; let us now commit it to life.”
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper June 16, 2017.