The Golden Rule – “Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you.”
All Christians grow up with this wonderful rule to live by. But did you know that all of the major religions of the world and even ancient civilizations have a similar phrase to guide them?
Judaism – “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I am the L-RD.
Buddhism – “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Udana -Varga 5:18
Islam – None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.
Hinduism – “This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you” Mahabharata 5:1517
Native American – “All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One.” Black Elk
Confucianism – “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.” Mencius VII.A.4
Ancient Egyptian – “Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do” The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, 109-110. Translated by R.B. Parkinson. The original dates to circa 1800 BC and may be the earliest version of the Epic ever written.
I’m guessing that if all of these major religions and civilizations had variations of the exact same thought, it must be pretty darned important. I think sometimes God really wants us to get something, so He pounds us over the head with it. He gave this message to every human since the beginning of time. Be nice to each other and nice things will be done for you. I think this fits pretty nicely with creating happiness for yourself. I think that this philosophy is true no matter what language you’re using, what religion you practice, or what words you use. You’ll reap what you sow. What goes around comes around. Kharma will bite you in the butt.
If you want to create happiness for yourself, you have to create happiness for other people. If you want peace for yourself, you have to create peace for other people. This is so simple. Why do we mess it up so terribly? We fight with our families, we fight with our neighbors (if we even know who they are), we fight with people who don’t look like us, we fight with people who don’t think like us, we fight with everybody who scares us. Why? It seems like there is so much anger in the world today. Actually, I would say there is a lot of fear in the world today. People are afraid. They’re afraid that they aren’t loved and it’s coming out as anger. When somebody looks different or thinks differently than we do, it scares us. Why? Because we’re afraid if they don’t think like we do, they’re a threat. Why? Because if people are different then we are, they may not love us or they might take away the love we have. It all goes back to the fact that we’re afraid that we won’t be loved. That’s what all of this madness is in the world today. It is a bunch of people who are afraid that they won’t be loved. It’s just coming out as anger.
So what does all of this have to do with the Golden Rule? We’re all connected. Every single person on this planet is connected to every other person on this planet. How did I possibly come up with that one? Easy. If God is in me and God is in you, then we’re connected to each other by God. Think of God as a big ball with lots of different lengths of string coming out of Him. One of those strings is tied to me. Another string is tied to you. We’re connected. If something happens to you, it affects me. Picture yourself with a St. Bernard dog sitting on your lap. You’re really affected by that dog. You can probably barely breathe, much less move. They are some big dogs. Now imagine the same dog is on the end of a short leash. You’re still pretty affected by what he does, but at least you can breathe. You can even move around some. Now imagine that big ol’ dog is at the end of a leash that’s 30 yards long. Wow! Now you can really move around. He still affects you, but not as much. Now what if that leash was 30 miles long? Get the picture here? We might be really affected by what happens to the people who are closest to us in our lives, but we’re still affected by the people who are at the end of that 30 mile long leash. Every person on this planet is connected to each other through God. Sometimes our strings are really long and sometimes they’re pretty short. But what happens to one person will in some way affect everyone on the planet. It’s a tough thing to wrap your head around, but we’re all in this together.
Let me give you another example. Let’s say that you’re in a raft with other people going down a river. You’re all separate people, but you’re connected by the raft. When everyone paddles together, you go where you want to go. Now let’s say that one person on the raft decides to paddle backwards. You aren’t really affected by that and you’ll still go where you want to go. Now let’s say that another person starts paddling backwards. You’re starting to feel it now. You have to work harder, but you’re still going down the river where you want to go. Now let’s say a couple of other people see Mr. Backwards Paddler and they decide to paddle backwards. Now you are really struggling. The other people are really affecting you and you can’t keep up. The raft starts to go backwards. You can’t go where you want to go. You are separate people in a raft, but you’re also all connected and what other people do affects you. It’s the very same thing with our world. When we put positive energy out there and we support each other and we respect each other, we are all paddling in the right direction and we’ll get where we want to go. When we start paddling in different directions or when we just stop paddling, the raft starts to go the wrong way. I’m not saying that we have to all agree with each other, but we do need to love and respect each other if we want to be happy. We’re all connected. If we mistreat one group of people, it will come back to us. I know it’s really hard to be nice to people that we don’t like. I have a super hard time with this. But, I try to think about it like this: you don’t have to love and respect the outside person, but you need to love and respect the Spirit of God that lives in their soul. God is in them and He deserves our love and respect. Now, don’t get me wrong here. When people do things that are hurtful and mean, they will have consequences. Every action we take has a consequence. They will have to pay for what they do. But we should try to remember that we are connected to their soul. What happens to them will affect us.
The whole principle of the Golden Rule is one of energy. All living things are made of energy. When you get right down to it, we are just a bunch of atoms bouncing around making energy. There are 2 kinds of energy – positive and negative. Positive energy creates more positive energy while negative energy creates more negative energy. Energy always feeds off of itself. You can’t create positive energy out of negative energy and vice versa. Have you ever seen a video of an angry mob? You can just see the negative energy feeding off of itself. Have you ever walked into a room full of angry people? You can almost feel that negative energy. Same thing on the flip side. Have you ever seen a laughing baby and you just have to laugh yourself? Positive energy creates more positive energy. This has been a really long way for me to say that the energy you create will come back to you. If you put out positive energy, positive energy will come back to you. You are inviting it into your life. If you put out negative energy, negative energy will come back to find you. You opened the door up wide and invited it into your life. So, we have to ask ourselves do we want positive energy in our lives or negative? Think about it.
Now, I’m talking a lot of talk here, but I can’t walk the walk. I know all of this stuff, but living it is another matter. I get irritated with people, I get mad at people, I get snippy with people. I’m human and so are you. We just have to do our best. And when we start to have these negative thoughts about other people, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for them. We also shouldn’t say “Good people don’t have those thoughts” and shove them down and ignore them. The thoughts are there. You can’t undo a thought. So you need to face it. You need to do the steps to contentment so you can uncover your fear monster and chip away at it. That’s how we get rid of the negative thoughts that we have. We don’t get rid of them by ignoring them. We get rid of them by facing them with the steps 1. We need to acknowledge that we’re responsible for whatever we’re feeling. 2. We need to dig down deep to see what fear was stirred up that has us feeling this way and then release it to God. 3. We have to be grateful for everything in our lives, the good and the bad. 4. We need to remember that we are all connected to each other by God. The energy that we put out is the energy that we will get back. And we need to keep trying our best to live that Golden Rule.
Holy cow this is hard. Jeesh. Kinda scared to go on to step 5 now, aren’t you. Don’t worry. Step 5 is fun!
Wishing you all of the positive energy in the world,