The Golden Rule



The need for members of a society to live in peace and harmony, irrespective of inevitable strife, has led to the propagation of rules and regulations, enforced by either the family unit, government, or religious bodies. Through the developmental stage of an individual from childhood to adulthood, he/she comes into the knowledge of these set of rules and regulations. However, it is left to the individual to make the decision to either live by them, or turn a blind eye.

One of these is the Golden rule which states: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

A simple statement that evokes feelings of love, yet it’s a great command, sounds very practical and polite, and should result in peace for all, when applied.

So powerful is it that in other words, it is simply saying, “Love thy neighbour.” How else will you do unto others as you would have done unto you, if your actions aren’t prompted by love?

The Golden rule has historically been advocated by almost every religion. These include:

  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Jainism
  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • Confucanism
  • Taoism
  • Sikhism
  • Unitarism
  • Zoroastrianism
  • Baha ‘I Faith
  • Native spirituality

In as much as the three major religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, are widely known with a large percentage of followers, each member of the society can be found practicing either of the other ten religions, except the atheists, and is therefore aware of the Golden rule, not exactly written as aforementioned, but still with the same interpretation.

Religious practices have become a succor to millions of households, providing a belief system, yet its teachings aren’t visible in our everyday lives. Don’t we find it ironical that instead of being our brother’s keeper, we have become quite the opposite?

What is the result? Our society is becoming increasingly unsafe, empathy has flown out the window alongside common sense, reason, and good decision making. What abounds is utter disrespect for a fellow man with an alarming rate of dehumanisation.

How can we claim to believe in God, follow a particular system of faith and worship, learn to love and be loved by God, because love is a two-way street, yet be intolerant of our neighbour and harbour hatred, bitterness, and anger in our hearts.

First, I will like to define who a neighbour is, in this context. A neighbour is not just the person or family, who lives opposite, beside, or in the same premises with you. Here, it means that stranger from a different gender, racial, tribal, social class, or religious group.

This definition pretty much brings to bear who a neighbour is. Imagine a scenario of a Christian being a brother’s keeper, showing love to his neighbour who is a Muslim, and doing unto him as he wants for himself. An example of this is the good Samaritan story in the bible.

Equally picture a scenario where a Muslim decides to practice the rights of a neighbour as stipulated in the Quran, such as greeting his neighbour—Christian, Judaist, etc.—visiting when sick, sharing in his pain, and rejoicing with him on happy occasions, etc.

If we all lived like this, wouldn’t the world be a better, safer place? Even in cases of disagreements and strife, wouldn’t we be tolerant of each other and come together in the spirit of brotherhood and love, and sort out our differences? Instead of a put-up with approach that will eventually lead to aggravation of anger, wouldn’t we rather understand, engage, and accept?

It can be a difficult pill to swallow, but this is where religion comes into play, providing the courage, belief, and strength needed to imbibe this lifestyle. Since we believe that there is a God who reigns supreme over us, why don’t we reserve judgement for him and stop casting stones at each other? Have we sat down to imagine what the generations after us would be faced with as a result of our long-standing feuds and acts of war? Shouldn’t the mental, emotional, and psychological states and well-being of our children be paramount to us?

I can go on and on, asking questions, but lastly, I want to ask: “Are we really practicing what we preach, and are taught?”

We have stepped into a new year: 2022. It is up to us to change or mend our ways, and become good neighbours. Let us show love, be kind, and help others. In the spirit of the Golden rule, don’t do unto others what you wouldn’t want to be done unto you.

We owe it to ourselves to be better. As humans, we have the capacity and capability to adapt; learn, unlearn, and relearn. If there is anything we should relearn and practice, it is the Golden rule.

The only solution to fixing both national and international problems, which is tax-free, will bring about a sense of peace, foster brotherhood, and evoke the bond of love, is the practice of the Golden rule. Loving your neighbour doesn’t mean that he/she is living right or doing the right thing, it just means that you can look beyond that and still see them and smile.

God is love. If we choose to acknowledge Him and be in fellowship with Him, then let’s do it right. Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.