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A Goldmine of Golden Rules

By Brian Johnson

Ah, The Golden Rule. Shall we mine the virtually identical ethical gems from various wisdom traditions?

"And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbor that which thou choosest for thyself." ~ Bahá'í (Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, 30)

"Hurt not others with that which pains yourself." ~ Buddhism (Udana-Varga)

"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." ~ Christianity (Matthew 22:36-40)

"Tzu-kung asked, 'Is there a single word which can be a guide to conduct throughout one's life?' The Master said, 'It is perhaps the word 'shu.' Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.'" ~ Confucius (The Analects)

"This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain." ~ Hinduism (The Mahabharata)

"No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself." ~ Islam (Hadith)

"A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated." ~ Jainism (Sutrakritanga 1.11.33)

"A certain heathen came to Shammai and said to him, Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot. Thereupon he repulsed him with the rod which was in his hand. When he went to Hillel, he said to him, What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; all the rest of it is commentary; go and learn." ~ Judaism (Talmud, Shabbat 31a)

"One [who is] going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts." ~ Nigerian proverb

"Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others." ~ Zoroastrianism (Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29)

P.S. Let's not forget The Platinum Rule. As per Tal Ben-Shahar: "Why the double standard, the generosity toward our neighbor and the miserliness where we ourselves are concerned? And so I propose that we add a new rule, which we can call the Platinum Rule, to our moral code: 'Do not do unto yourself what you would not do unto others.'"

"Brian's passionate love of wisdom oozes from A Philosopher's Notes. It's infectious. Distilling ancient wisdom to its essence, A Philosopher's Notes cuts through the noise of uncertainty. Without a wasted word Brian brings modern-world relevance to often-ambiguous philosophical writing, making it accessible and relevant to us all. It truly is the modern-day guide to optimal living." ~ Brendan Brazier, bestselling author of Thrive and formulator of Vega.
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