Thursday, June 29, 2017
The Golden Rule: Thursday's Reflection
Our neighbor has hung this banner on the front of our house. Can you guess the meaning?
If you said it looks like an equal sign, you are correct.
This banner reminds us to view all people through the lens of equality. And to treat all people equally.
That makes me think about The Golden Rule. Just in case you forgot what the Golden Rule instructs, here it is according to ten major religions.
Christianity: "Do to others as you would have them do to you."
Hinduism: "This is the sum of duty: do naught unto another which would cause you pain if done to you."
Taoism: "Regard your neighbor's gains your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss."
Zoroastrianism: "Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others."
Judaism: "You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself," and "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary."
Confucianism: "Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not do unto others what you yourself would find hurtful."
Islam: "None of you [truly] believe until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself."
I witnessed The Golden Rule in action this week. Our Third Chapter committee at church hosted a Movie Morning. A group gathered to watch and discuss the movie A Man Called Ove. One of the themes of the movie is how we connect to and treat our neighbors, even when our neighbor is a curmudgeon, and how that kind of love and compassion is transformative.
While the movie was playing, a woman entered the back of the Fellowship Hall and loudly said, "Isn't it Sunday? Did I miss Sunday?" Without hesitation my committee colleague turned into this woman's angel and gently responded to her confusion and even drove her home.
My friend is a living Golden Rule.
Soon after 9/11, the Dalai Lama said it this way:
A central teaching in most traditions is: What
you wish to experience, provide for another. Look
to see, now, what it is you wish to experience in
your own life, and in the world...If you wish to
experience peace, provide peace for another. If
you wish to know that you are safe, cause another
to know that you are safe. If you wish to better
understand seemingly incomprehensible things,
help another to better understand. If you wish to heal
your own sadness or anger, seek to heal the sadness
or anger of another. Those others are waiting for
you now...They are looking to you for love.
Where have you seen evidence of the living Golden Rule? When have you experienced it? I would love to know.
NOTE: The list of the various versions of The Golden Rule and the quote from the Dalai Lama is from Grounded, Finding God in the World, A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass. I highly recommend this book.