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.