Introduction to the Golden Rules
From the time I was about five or six years old my mother taught
me this version of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others, kind and true, as you would have others do unto you.” I confess
that I didn’t always treat others this way, but I could understand the concept at about that age. Treat others the way
you want to be treated.
When my brother, whom
I have always dearly loved, and I would get into a tangle she would ask me, “Would you like it if he did that to you?”
or to him, “How do you think that feels to her?” It became the standard code of ethics of the house. I learned
by about age nine that the root of it was in The Bible (Luke 6:31). But it wasn’t until I was in my forties that
I realized that the major world religions each had a golden rule, and their unique way of stating it.
I used the different golden rules in the Anger Management classes I taught at
Hale ‘Opio Kaua’i Teen Court. I told the children of a time long
ago before police forces and huge courts and jails. Back then, the wisest were selected to be council members. The elders
guided the younger in how to live with each other. The golden rule was the spoken or unspoken law of the land.
If you choose, you may use these questions to deepen your
thought about how life might be if we remembered to live by the Golden Rules:
reading all the Golden Rules, write one in your own words that you would like people to live by.
2. What would the world look like if people lived by these rules?
3. What would the world feel like? What could you do that you might
not be able to do now? [Because there is a juvenile curfew on Kaua’i, all the kids thought that they could stay out
late, because they would be safe.]
4. What do
you think is keeping people from living by these rules?
What would it take to inspire people to live by these rules?
What is one thing you can do to help make it happen? Because dear one, you matter, and you can make a difference. Remember
that the words have been around for eons. We used to live by them, and we can again, but the words will have to be lived.