Updated: Dec 11, 2020
“Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you”
I am quite certain that all of us would have heard the saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is a very familiar New Testament quotation by Jesus Christ (Matt. 7:12/Lk. 6:31). It is commonly referred to as the Golden Rule. Many, if not all, of the other major religions also have this thought as part of their holy writings. Even secularism and humanism as well as philosophy and psychology have similarly taught this construct. This maxim can, therefore, be considered an axle of agreement around which basically every religion, belief or ideology can revolve. It is truly a universal principle. Interestingly though, while this concept has had universal acclaim, for centuries, its practical application seems to be completely foreign. As a people, we have surrendered the sacredness of this law of reciprocity, to selfishness and self-centredness in their various forms. I am beginning to learn of the magnificent impact that the application of this principle can have on interpersonal relationships. Whether it’s in marriage or among family and friends; if it’s on the job or between business associates, applying the golden rule can make a significant difference in relationships. Simply put – treat others, as you would like to be treated. Do not do to others what you would not like to be done to you. If you desire fairness, truth and honesty, you must be fair, truthful and honest. If you want to be loved and respected, you must give love and respect. Can you imagine this concept in effect at our homes or at work? WOW! I challenge couples to put this to work in their homes. While they agree it is really difficult to do consistently, they do testify that it has helped in reducing the tension and conflicts in the home. If during times of intimacy, each spouse conscientiously focuses on satisfying the other, rather than seek merely to gratify self, the result of the former would, more often than not, be much more meaningful and pleasurable than the latter. For this to be effective, however, we must take the initiative. We must first do… It is not a matter of I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine, but rather, let me scratch your back for you. The other then freely reciprocates. You see, it is in giving that you receive. In any environment where people exist there would be conflict. This is a fact. However, many of these conflicts can be avoided, or easily resolved, if the selfishness and self-centredness are eroded; if we genuinely consider the other person and how our behaviours affect him/her. Should each person do unto the others around him what he would like done to himself, the effect would be almost magical – peaceful compromise, collaborative dialogue and rational reasoning would be possible. I know that this may seem to be an illusion. In reality it may appear impossible for this to become evident in our society, but do you think that we can somehow have this Golden Rule implemented and applied in our spheres of influence? What do you think?