Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ethic of Reciprocity

What is the most meaningful quote of all? I thought I would do some research about the one that pops in my mind.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. ~Matthew 7:12/Luke 6:31

This quote by Jesus in the New Testament echoes one in the Old Testament:

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. ~Leviticus 19:18

More from Old Testament canonical traditions:

-Do to no one what you yourself dislike.
-That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.
-Recognize that your neighbor feels as you do, and keep in mind your own dislikes.

The idea also is present in other religions and philosophies:


-Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one's life?" The Master said, "Is not RECIPROCITY such a word?
-Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.


-One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma. Other behavior is due to selfish desires.

-For those who set their hearts on me

And worship me with unfailing devotion and faith,
The way of love leads sure and swift to me.

Those who seek the transcendental Reality,..
With their senses subdued and mind serene
And striving for the good of all beings,
They too will verily come unto me.


Trying to live according to the Golden Rule means trying to empathise with other people, including those who may be very different from us. Empathy is at the root of kindness, compassion, understanding and respect – qualities that we all appreciate being shown, whoever we are, whatever we think and wherever we come from...


Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. ~ Muhammad


One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him.


The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful.


Some writers like George Bernard Shaw once said that "the golden rule is that there are no golden rules". Shaw suggested an alternative rule: "Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same....

Therefore, the maxim, ethical code, or morality spans most major religions and philosophies as an essential element in day to day right living.

Imagine if all people treated each other that way. Utopia?

Image: Scarboromissions.ca offers a poster which highlights 13 traditions/perspectives/religions on the ethic

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