Refugees in War

Refugees in War

In our war threatened world “we the people” are weary from our egotistical political leaders carving up countries like it was a board game. Isn’t it time we come together and think of our selves as one human race? Yet how can we have world peace if even our religions can’t agree on a simple moral code of conduct?

Where is our human common sense today? A universal moral code for humanity has existed for millennia. It’s known as the Ethic of Reciprocity. If we think outside the box of religion and politics, we’ll find it’s so obvious. I think every single person in the world can agree on the fairness of this one human law.  This maxim succinctly states:

We should treat others, as we ourselves would like to be treated.

An early example of this rule is first recorded in the Ancient Egyptian story of The Eloquent Peasant, during the Middle Kingdom around 2040–1650 BC:

“Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.” [1]

In the 12 century BC, it’s translated into Taoism by T’ai-Shang Kan-Ying P’ien in this way:

“Regard your neighbour’s gain as your gain and your neighbour’s loss as your loss.”

the-golden-rule-compressedIn fact, it is such a universal human law that in eight main world religions you can find descriptions of the same concept. A common Islamic quote from Muhammad renders it: “Aheb li akheek ma tuhibu li nafsik”, and translated in English it reads:

“Wish for your brother, what you wish for yourself.”

I especially like this story from the Hadith. It’s a collection of oral and written accounts from Muhammad during his lifetime:

A Bedouin came to the prophet, grabbed the stirrup of his camel and said: O the messenger of God! Teach me something to go to heaven with it. Prophet said: “As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them. Now let the stirrup go!” [2] 

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BuddistFor Christian believers it is known as the Golden Rule: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

In his recent book, author Greg M. Epstein states, “ ’do unto others’ … is a concept that essentially no religion misses entirely.” [3]

So the Golden Rule of loving your neighbour as yourself is not just a Christian teaching. It has been around a long, long time. It can be observed in any culture on our planet. It can be taught in any language at any age. It is truly universal. If the whole of humanity observed only this one moral code, think what kind of a world we would live in!

I want to live this way and I try to remember to think before acting or making decisions. But like everyone else, I often forget. What’s to motivate us in keeping this basic law for humanity? There are awesome benefits because it’s a law of reciprocity. It’s backed by karma. Here’s a simple explanation from the book The Celestial Proposal:

“The golden rule of loving your neighbour as yourself has such incredible consequences that God upholds it through spiritual reciprocity. In other words for every positive or negative act we do, a corresponding reaction results: we reap what we sow. With our choices, we bring inevitable results upon ourselves. This concept is stated many times in different ways throughout our textbook.”

"'Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.'" (Luke 6:37–38)[4] 

globeI’m passionate about a new paradigm for a twenty-first century world theology. I think world peace is possible! Forget about politics and the differences in religious beliefs. I believe humanity is on the crest of a new wave of global spiritual development, one that’s going to come from people on the grass roots level. It’s going to happen.

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 

Hebrews 10:16, The Bible, NIV

[1]The Culture of Ancient Egypt, John Albert Wilson, p. 121, University of Chicago Press, 1956, ISBN 0-226-90152-1.

[2] —Kitab al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 146.

[3] —Esptein, Greg M. (2010). Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe. New York: HarperCollins. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-06-167011-4.

[4] —Rozek, Jane Catherine (2013). The Celestial Proposal: Our Invitation to Join the God Kind. BC Canada: Books of Life Publishing House. p. 203. ISBN 987-1494716752