I bet you didn’t know that last Thursday was International Golden Rule Day.
Thanks to the folks at Charter for Compassion, I was reminded that April 5 was the day that the golden rule was celebrated around the world.
Why around the world? Did you grow up thinking that the golden rule was solely Christian? some time ago I was surprised to learn that this profound ethical system evolved in all the major religions of the world.
Here is how the golden rule has been expressed universally:
Christianity: In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
Judaism: What is hateful for you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary.
Islam: Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.
Buddhism: Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
Hinduism: This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.
Confucianism: One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct: loving kindness… do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.
Taoism: Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
Baha’i Faith: Lay not on any soul a load you would not want to be laid on you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.
Native Spirituality: We are as much alive as we keep the earth alive.
The Internet: Tweet others as you would like to be tweeted. (Just want to be sure you’re paying attention.)
And there are more.
Isn’t this commonality inspirational? At the heart of every religion there’s an ethical challenge that, in the words of Karen Armstrong from Charter for Compassion: We should treat others and our planet as we would like to be treated.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if we each took the Golden Rule seriously?