Revised: Fall, 2008
From a very young age we are taught to treat others the way we want to be treated, commonly known as The Golden Rule. This became the basis for our moral compass. Ultimately, this rule will guide you toward your own happiness and help to make the world a more beautiful place for us all.
The Golden Rule is often regarded as the most concise and general principle of ethics. This is a concept we are taught, usually during childhood, by family, friends, and nearly everybody around us. Though it is a simple practice, many people still do not incorporate it into their everyday lives.
Throughout time, the Golden Rule of “treat others the way you want to be treated”, has been embedded in history. Many accent Greek philosophers developed their own variation of the rule. Isocrates said, “Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others.” The Golden Rule is also a common principle for many religions. It can be found in many religious writings ranging from; Buddhism, Baha’i faith, Christianity, Confucianism, Islam, and many more. Many of the western religions have “Law of Karma” where as Christian tradition teach it as the “Law of cause and consequence”. The Golden Rule sprouted from these teachings.
The Golden Rule is something to try and live your life by, and very simple at that. It teaches good interaction with the people that surround you. These interactions then in turn will lead to your overall happiness. If every person applied this rule to their life by helping their neighbors, treating others with kindness, and helping strangers in need, the world would be a beautiful place. No doubt these actions are good for the people that you helped, but they are said to improve confidence and inner strength. Along with personal improvement, a person who lives life by the Golden Rule is sure to notice much better treatment from those around them.
Practice this rule in your everyday life and you will find a growing satisfaction in yourself, a greater belief in yourself, and increasing knowledge that you are a good person, and a strengthened trust in yourself. When you treat others with kindness, you are likely to see a similar response to you in return.
One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. All other activities are due to selfish desire.
-Hinduism. Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 113.8