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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Recognize what they are talking about?

"I got a simple rule about everybody. If you don't treat me right, shame on you!" Louis Armstrong said that in the 1970s.

How about this one? "The question was once put to him, how we ought to behave to our friends, and the answer he gave was, 'As we wish our friends to behave to us.'" That was Aristotle, sometime around 325 B.C.

My friend, Ed, loaned me his book, The Words We Live By: The creeds, mottoes and pledges that have shaped America, by Brian Burwell. I found it so fascinating that I blogged about it here before. Just recently, I saw two guys so angry at one another over something very petty that they almost got into a fist fight. Then I saw another sickening magazine cover blurb about Jon and Kate, etc., etc. Hmm! I thought maybe we all need a reminder.

The quotes above are expressions of "The Golden Rule," more familiarly stated as "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

The Golden Rule, in one form or another, is found in scriptural writings in Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism. It is moral acknowledgement of how to lead a good life.

Socrates, Aristotle, Samuel Clarke, John Wise, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Paine, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Sidgwick, Petr Alekseevich Kropotkin, Malcom X, Alan Gewirth and Louis Armstrong, to name just a few, have stated in writings and speeches... in many, many languages... in many different words... from so many ages... their expression of The Golden Rule.

It is prevalently acknowledged throughout all history as the way to live among one another.

It is not to be misconstrued as "He who has the gold, rules," or, "I don't get mad, I get even." These are usually followed by a hollow laugh, as if to say, "Not really."

But, really!

We sometimes seem to live more by those 'anti-golden rules' than the real thing. We have had wars forever, you know. I guess I'm feeling especially moralistic today. As a society of humans, wouldn't you think we can be better than we are?

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