The golden rule


By Deacon Bill Hagen
For the Umatuna Si Yu’os

A reflection on the Monday, June 25 Gospel of Matthew 7:6, 12-14

Do you all remember the golden rule? Maybe the question should be, to which golden rule do you subscribe?

In the business world and in most governments, the golden rule goes like this: “he who has the gold, makes the rules.” Isn’t that about right? He who has the gold makes the rules.

In Hinduism, it is stated as follows: “do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.”

The Buddhist state it this way: “hurt not others in ways you yourself would find hurtful.”

The Hebrew Bible in Leviticus says: “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Islam teaches: “hurt no one so that no one may hurt you”; and Confucius says: “what you do not wish upon yourself extent not to others.”

These are all nice sayings and are intended to prevent harm to others and to keep peace in societyn but they are all stated in the negative. They all say “do not,” “hurt not,” or “shall not.” Now, listen to the way Jesus states the Golden Rule, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” Hear the command to do, to take the initiative, to take the first step? We need to be the first to extend forgiveness. We need to be the first to be compassionate, generous, sharing, and supportive.

What Jesus is commanding is that we imagine ourselves in the exact same place as the other person. We need to vividly and accurately see ourselves as seen by the other. We need to reflect on our actions and our words as seen by the other, the stranger, the waitress, the teller, the clerk, the customer, or the employee. Then we need to ask ourselves, “Would I like to be treated in the same manner that I treat others?”

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets” (Mt 7:12).