The Golden Rule is Universal

The second great commandment is Universal;
 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself', is prominent in all major religions. 

by Michael Corthell

The Golden Rule:

 ''So in everything, do to others what you would have
them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.''

—Matthew 7:12

Out in the ''world'' there are strong arguments against the Golden Rule. Meaning that there are some exceptions and logic arguments against the Golden Rule, but only in some circumstances. It all falls to common sense. The fact of the matter is that, on a day-to-day basis, living your life by the Golden Rule will make you a better person, period. And will make those around you happier, and will make your community and the world a much better place. More

Let’s take a look at some simple pointers for living by the Golden Rule:

Practice empathy. Make it a habit to try to place yourself in the shoes of another person.

Practice compassion. Once you can understand another person, and feel what they’re going through, learn to want to end their suffering.

Know how would you want to be treated. The Golden Rule doesn’t really mean that you should treat someone else exactly as you’d want them to treat you … it means that you should try to imagine how they want to be treated, and do that.

Be a friend. When in doubt, just be a friend. Be a good listener.

Be a help. Many people have a tendency to keep to themselves, and often ignore the problems of others. Don’t be blind to the needs and troubles of others. Look to help even before you’re asked.

Be a good driver. (I include this because it is a pet peeve of mine). Drive defensively and forgive the trespasses of those who have less skill at the wheel than you do. Be kind. 'Road rage' is just plain magnified human weakness.

Listen to others. Just listen. To do unto you have to know what to do. Take the time to actually listen to the other person.

Overcome prejudice. People have prejudices, whether it's skin color, attractiveness, height, age, gender etc. All human beings are unique, with different backgrounds and needs and dreams. And try to see the commonalities between you and that person, despite your differences.

Curb criticism. Most have a tendency to criticize others, ask yourself if you would like to be criticized in that person’s situation. The answer is pretty much always, ''No, I would not.'' So, instead learn to interact in a positive way.

Do not practice 'control'. People like to be guided, but not told what to do. So don’t do it. When you feel the need to control, put yourself in that person's place. You want freedom and trust, right?

Avoid revenge. All of us feel the urge to strike back when we're treated badly. This is natural. But resist that urge. The Golden Rule isn’t about retaliation. It's about treating others well, not how they treat you. Does that mean you should be a push-over? No, again use common sense.

You be the change. Be the change we want to see in the world. Do you want the human race to treat each other with more compassion and kindness? Then, it starts with you my friend.

The thing that is striking is that while the Golden Rule is a very simple thing, it takes quite a lot to explain just how to practice it effectively. Much of it is preparing ourselves to be aware that we are all one in the human condition.

Finally a prayer. If you are so inclined, I ask you to read this prayer.

Prayer to Practice the Golden Rule

May I be an enemy to no one and
the friend of what abides eternally.

May I never quarrel with those nearest me, and
be reconciled quickly if I should.

May I never plot evil against others, and
if anyone plot evil against me,
may I escape unharmed and
without the need to hurt anyone else.

May I love, seek and attain only what is good.

May I desire happiness for all and harbor envy for none.

May I never find joy in the misfortune of one who
has wronged me.

May I never wait for the rebuke of others,
but always rebuke myself until I make reparation.

May I gain no victory that harms me or my opponent.

May I reconcile friends who are mad at each other.

May I, insofar as I can, give all necessary
help to my friends and to all who are in need.

May I never fail a friend in trouble.

May I be able to soften the pain of the
grief stricken and give them comforting words.

May I respect myself.

May I always maintain control of my emotions.

May I habituate myself to be gentle, and
never angry with others because of circumstances.

May I never discuss the wicked or what they have done,
but know good people and follow in their footsteps.

—Eusebius of Caesarea (Eusebius Pamphili)


Let's revive the Golden Rule

by Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong looks at religion's role in the 21st century: Will its dogmas divide us? Or will it unite us for common good? She reviews the catalysts that can drive the world's faiths to rediscover the Golden Rule.

Compassion isn't just a warm feeling. Religious scholar Karen Armstrong sees it as an urgent, global imperative. With the 2008 TED Prize, she called for the creation of a Charter for Compassion, a document with the Golden Rule at its ethical core. Designed to unite people globally, the charter was drafted by a diverse set of religious leaders and launched in November 2009 to inspire people around the world to restore compassion, empathy and kindness to the center of life.