For the new year, resolve to treasure the Golden Rule

Jan 6 2013 - 9:55pm


"Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do."

This statement is found in an ancient Egyptian script titled "The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant," as translated by R.B. Parkinson.

The original dates to around 1800 BCE and may be the earliest version of the Epic of Reciprocity ever written, states

The Epic of Reciprocity is known by many as the Golden Rule. Though often attributed to Christianity, the teaching is found in more than 20 of the world's religions that I could document as well as among groups that practice nonreligion.

I believe that "living golden," treating others with high regard, would be a worthy goal for anyone wishing to improve him- or herself over the coming year.

May we all remember in 2013 to treat others a little better, even as we seek good fortune upon our own selves.

In an effort to promote understanding, I have chosen some Scriptures and quotes to share that represent some of the area's lesser represented faiths and nonfaiths.

"Societies that do not practice treating others as you want them to treat you are destined for extinction," is a statement I found on the Atheist Camel website in an article about applying reciprocity. "A culture that has no inhibitions against wanton murder, thievery, rape, deception, perjury, et al., and which practices those things as social norms would self-destruct in the chaos of disorder."

In a paper titled "A humanist perspective on ... the 'Golden Rule'" published by the British Humanist Society, I found the following statement:

"(The Golden Rule) appears to be based on our common humanity, using our need to be treated well by others and our aspiration to live harmoniously with others as its foundation. It can be worked out by anyone, anywhere, by thinking about our understanding of ourselves and other people."

From both Hinduism and Brahmanism, I found nearly the same statement: "This is the sum of Dharma [duty]: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you."

This exact quote is found in Brahmanism's Mahabharata, 5:1517.

Islam follows a similar creed.

"None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself," states Number 13 of Imam Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths.

"Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful," is a Buddhist statement found in Udana-Varga 5:18.

"And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself," is a statement out of the Baha'i Faith Epistle to the Son of the Wolf.

"Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire," states Doctrine of the Mean 13.3 in Confucionism.

"Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence," states that faith's text Mencius VII.A.4.

Jainism has this to say: "In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self."

This statement is credited to Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara.

"A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated," states Sutrakritanga 1.11.33, also a Jainism text.

Our Jewish brothers and sisters teach us that loving others is the opposite of hate.

"And what you hate, do not do to any one," states Tobit 4:15 4.

"What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary," reads Talmud, Shabbat 31a.

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