Monday, September 12, 2011

Spin Cycle: Rules

Ah Jen, rules...

As a teacher, a mother, a citizen...

That's a lot of rules.

I'm going to borrow the conclusion of a paper my son wrote last year in one of his college classes. It's simpler than all the rules in my life, and yet so much more profound.

Do Unto Others...

According to Karen Armstrong in the article, The Golden Rule, “All major religions preach it, we’re all taught it, but how many of us live it?” (54). Good question. Maybe it should start with the religious leaders recognizing this connection, this similarity, and pointing it out to their followers instead of pointing out the differences. The article goes on to say that Confucius was the first to come up with the Golden Rule. “You look into your own heart, discover what gives you pain, and then refuse under any circumstances to inflict that pain on anyone else. Do not do to others what you would not like them to do to you” (56). A more entertaining version of it is in the story from the Jewish tradition told in the article:

The great Rabbi Hillel, an older contemporary of Jesus, was approached by a pagan who promised to convert to Judaism on the condition that Hillel recite the whole of Jewish teaching while standing on one leg. Hillel stood on one leg and said, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the Torah, everything else is only commentary. Go and study it. (56)

Imagine a world where people actually lived by the Golden Rule. There are those who are trying to get people to see a world where this is possible. If you go to the Charter for Compassion, http://charterforcompassion.org/share/the-charter/, you will find an actual charter for a compassionate world, a world where people put compassion before greed, before war, before having to be right.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

Living by the Golden Rule, to do unto others… I don’t think it has happened yet on a large scale in human history, but anything is possible.

It's Pseudo again! Head on over to Jen's at Sprite's Keeper for more spins on rules.

14 comments:

Kristan said...

What a wonderful world this could be...

Thanks for the reminder. I certainly *try* to live by the Golden Rule, but I'm human, and I falter. I'll try harder. :)

Brian Miller said...

nice...what a wonderful world it would be...whole lot of love...nice story about the rabbi too...ha

Unknown Mami said...

You gotta believe it's possible.

formerlyonlyamovie said...

Smart boy you have there.

xoxoxoxo

Jan said...

I'm with formerlyonlyamovie - VERY smart boy you have there.

Mama Badger said...

Who is it that said we could learn a lot from our children?

Is your son willing to run for President? I think we could use his guidance.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Maybe we should email this to our government. The only rules they live by are the ones they made up themselves.
Great Spin, you're linked!

tulpen said...

Rules in general piss me off.

Not that one though.

lisleman said...

Your son wrote a thoughtful paper. I had not read the Rabbi quote before. I like it.
"...everything else is only commentary." I'll try to remember that.

sage said...

A nice and thoughtful post... If only we could live up to the Golden Rule

Casey said...

I agree with that smart kid of yours.

JeannetteLS said...

Wow. What a paper, what a son. My closest friend and I were just talking about this very thing tonight. That the Golden Rule IS the cornerstone for any religion we'd heard of and pretty much contained all the commandments right there in it. What a world it would be, indeed. Well. Add another blog to my list!

Thanks for visiting mine.

VandyJ said...

If only...
The bet I can do is teach this to my boys and hope for the best.

CaJoh said...

Not to play devil's advocate, but I sometimes find that others do not know that they are hurting someone which makes it hard to reprimand them. Certainly your pet doesn't know that destroying the couch because they miss you will hurt your pocket book (they have no sense of monetary value). People do the same thing in that they do something that hurts someone and they didn't even mean to do so.