The Golden Rule

Since the time of Confucius, and probably even before that, man has been very aware of the concept of the Golden Rule.  Confucius himself said, “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.”

And all of the major religions of the world have a similar concept. All religions, although most religious zealots would not agree, actually have the same spiritual tenet running through their belief system.

  • Buddhists believe: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”
  • Christians believe: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
  • Jews believe: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”
  • Hindus believe: “One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self.”
  • Muslims believe: “That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind.”
  • Even atheists who do not believe in a higher power believe in the rules of reciprocity.

So, pretty much close to eight billion people are in agreement that we all believe that if we treat others well, speak well, and create a welcoming environment, we in turn will be treated the same.

Hmm.  It sounds a bit like karma.  Personified, karma is either an angel or a devil, a well-wisher or a bitch.

I am fairly certain that as individuals, we need to look past our differences and see the commonality of our wants and desires.  Whether you live in a house or an apartment or a tin structure in the middle of the desert,  I feel optimistic that at the core, our wants and desires are the same.  We all want health, happiness, and a sense of peace.

Maybe, just maybe, if we spend less time pointing out our differences and more time finding our common thread, karma will be a bit kinder to us all.

Maybe, just maybe, the sun will seem to shine a little brighter and the smile shared between strangers will be from a place of kindness and mutual respect.

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Day 209: What the Chick-Fil-A Controversy Confirmed for Me

Picture available on http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/world/.
August 2, 2012

Everyone is talking about it, so I feel like I need to address it as well.  Last week, Dan Cathy, the President of Chick-Fil-A, in an interview made a statement about how his company supports the biblical definition of a family unit– thus, supporting a marriage between a man and a woman. I spent the afternoon scouring the Internet reading many different newspaper articles, opinions, and editorials about Dan Cathy’s remarks.What I found through my research is this: people are fueled by the conversation!  Everyone has an opinion on gay marriage, and Dan Cathy’s words incited people to voice their opinions while bashing and name-calling those who opposed said opinions.  Last night, I tried to carry on a conversation with a stranger in a friend’s Facebook feed, and he called me a bigot against conservatives because I said I thought a statement promoting traditional marriage is in essense, an anti-gay statement.

From my understanding, it is true that the Old Testament has many very definitive claims about what a marriage is and how people should conduct themselves.  That same Old Testament has many other opinions I do not see the modern Christian following.  In Leviticus 27: 3-7, for example, it says that the monetary value of a woman is 40-50% less than that of a man.  Thus, Christians who believe that the Bible should not be open to interpretation better put a significant higher monetary value on men over women.

I know that there are gay-haters in this world.  I know there are gay-supporters in the world.  To me, it’s an arbitrary argument.

As Christians, as followers of Christ, we need to listen and follow the teachings of Christ.  The teachings of Jesus are soley written about in the The New Testament.  Thus, we should listen when He says,  “A new commandment I give to you,  that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34-35

LOVE!  As a Christian woman, this is the message I abide to, this is the message I hear.

In regards to the controversy surrounding the restaurant, those who showed support in record-breaking numbers to promote a record-breaking day of sales have every right to do so.  They may strongly feel and believe that gay marriage is wrong.  Those who are planning to ban the restaurant may strongly feel and believe that gay marriage is a civil right being denied to a segment of the American population.

This topic is derisive.  The lines are being drawn in the sand.  I only hope that the hate and discrimination ceases that is promoted by people on both sides of the issue.  Neither of these qualities are Christ-like.  The Bible teaches fairness, respect, tolerance, and love.  Jesus lived his life modeling fairness, respect, tolerance, and love.

The night before Jesus died, he got on the floor and washed the feet of his disciples. The master became the servant. The servant became the master; and thus, Jesus showed true humility. After he washed their feet, He said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13: 14-15).   If we are to do as Jesus has done, we need to show humility and concentrate on the selfless love of God.

As for me, it seems that to be truly humble I need to leave the judging of my fellow-man to God.  Maybe I am naive.  Maybe I am wrong.  Nonetheless, I do not know what God’s master plan is, nor do I know why we have controversy and war and hate.

I do know that I can do my part to treat everyone who comes into my path with respect;  I can accept those who have different beliefs; I can respect another’s opinion, whether it mirrors my opinion or not.   I know I want to love my neighbor as myself and I try to model acceptance and love for my children.