|The Golden Rule, 1961|
(c) Norman Rockwell estate
Please take some time in your own life this week, especially on April 5th, to consider this universal and profound principle of treating others as you would wish to be treated, consider ways in which you might become better and more consistent at living this way, and tell others about Golden Rule Day on April 5th! I will be doing this, as I believe (as Epictetus taught) that virtue and wisdom are synonymous, that (as the Dalai Lama said) if we want to be happy we should practice compassion, and (as Jesus says in the book of Luke) that we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves :)
The Golden Rule and similar ideals take many forms in many faiths and cultures. Here is a sampling of various forms:
1. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
2. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
3. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
4. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
5. And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
6. And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
7. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
8. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
9. If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
10. Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do.
Ancient Egyptian, The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant The original dates to 1970 to 1640 BCE and may be the earliest version ever written.
11. One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts.
African Traditional Religions, Yoruba Proverb (Nigeria)
12. Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wise to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.
Baha’I, Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings
13. And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself.
Baha’I, Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, 30
14. Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
Buddhism, Udana-Varga 5,36
15. Comparing oneself to others in such terms as "Just as I am so are they, just as they are so am I," he should neither kill nor cause others to kill.
Buddhism, Sutta Nipata 705
16. 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.
Confucianism, Analects 12:2
17. The essence of all religions is love, compassion, and tolerance. Kindness is my true religion. The clear proof of a person’s love of God is if that person genuinely shows love to fellow human beings.
18. Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.
Dalai Lama, 1989 Nobel Peace Prize
19. If we really want happiness, we must widen the sphere of love.
20. Tsekung asked, "Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?" Confucius replied, "It is the word shu--reciprocity: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you."
Confucianism, Analects 15.23
21. 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.
Confucianism, Mencius VII.A.4
22. The Sage...makes the self of the people his self.
Daoism, Tao Te Ching, Ch 49
23. One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. All other activities are due to selfish desire.
Hinduism, Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 113.8
24. This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.
Hinduism, Mahabharata 5,1517
25. Humanists acknowledge human interdependence, the need for mutual respect and the kinship of all humanity.
Humanist Association of Canada
26. Don't do things you wouldn't want to have done to you.
British Humanist Society
27. Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.
Islam, The Prophet Muhammad, 13th of the 40 Hadiths of Nawawi
28. One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated.
29. What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
Judaism, Talmud, Shabbat 3id
30. What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it.
Hillel, Judaism, Talmud, Shabbath 31a
31. We are as much alive as we keep the earth alive.
Native Spirituality, Chief Dan George
32. Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it would become a universal law.
Philosophy, Immanuel Kant, Categorical Imperative
33. Act so as to use humanity, whether in your own person or in others, always as an end, and never merely as a means.
Philosophy, Immanuel Kant, Categorical Imperative
34. Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others.
35. I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.
Sikhism, Guru Granith Sahib, p. 1289
36. What you would avoid suffering yourself, seek not to impose on others.
37. Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
Taoism, Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien
38. We affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Unitarian Universalist First Principle
39. We affirm and promote justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
Unitarian Universalist Second Principle
40. An' it harm none, do as ye will.
The Wiccan Rede
41. That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self.
Zoroastrianism, Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5
42. Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.
Zoroastrianism, Shayast-na-Shayast 13.29
43. Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes.
44. Live and let live.
45. If you love something, set it free.
If it comes back, it will always be yours.
If it doesn't come back, it was never yours to begin with.
46. If you love it, let it grow.