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Blog Posts 2022

When in Doubt, Pause

When in doubt, pause


April 5th is almost here. It is the designated date to celebrate and put into practice the Golden Rule. Whether you follow the Confucian version of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you,” or the more direct message from the sage Hillel, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor,” or the contemporary version now called GoldenRuleism, "Do for all others, both directly and indirectly, what you would want done for you. Don't do to any others, either directly or indirectly, what you wouldn't want done to you." 

The messages are clear, but what’s our problem with not heeding them? Are we selfish? Do we have trouble seeing beyond our own face? Is it that we don’t care and are willing to accept that these are “hard times,” and political division, war, and ongoing prejudice and injustice will be with us forever? I, for one, think this is nonsense and a lazy excuse to continue living with blinders on. As it implies, the Golden Rule, no matter the source of the tradition, demands that we start with ourselves and challenge the way we pause, reflect, think, and act in the world. Yes, "pause," it might be the most important of the actions listed. It allows us time to question our personal wisdom before we act or speak. 

When in doubt, questioning what to do, turn to the Golden Rule. It offers a universal framework for our ethical conduct. It urges us to empathize with others, to consider their perspectives, and to act with kindness and respect. 

So, how do we practice the Golden Rule in the face of such daunting challenges as we face in today's world? I don’t know about you but I’m going to smile more on Golden Rule Day. I’m going to look more intently in peoples’ faces and realize that we-are-all-in-this-together. I’m going to stay off social media and I’m not going to take things for granted. I’m going to ask deeper questions. I’m going to hope, no, I'm going to work to assure that I extend the length of Golden Rule Day beyond April 5th. Will you join me?

In closing, let us heed the timeless wisdom of the Golden Rule as we navigate the complexities of our world. Let us strive to treat others with the same dignity, understanding, and compassion that we ourselves desire. Together, let's be beacons of light in the darkness, forging a path toward a brighter, more compassionate future for all.  I am convinced of a few lessons that I've learned in the last few years: we can't do the same old, same old, and expect a different outcome. We need a new way of diplomacy, negotiation, and a just economy.  None of this is going to happen if we don't follow the Golden Rule.


With warm regards,