The Golden Rule

In the Mahabharata (Book 13) it says ‘one should never do to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self’.In the Analects of Confucius (Book 4 Chapt.3) is the passage ‘The superior man does not,even for the space of a single meal,act contrary to virtue.In moments of haste,he cleaves to it.In seasons of danger,he cleaves to it’.In the Old Testament (Leviticus) is the instruction ‘love your neighbour as yourself’.This injunction is repeated many times in the worlds religious literature.

Most people know this and try to act on it for reasons of personal values,social expectation,or the pleasure of being neighbourly.Some may act out of enlightened self interest in the expectation of being treated well in return or in obedience to the Law of Karma which basically asserts that ‘what goes around,comes around’ in this life, or the hereafter if one is that way disposed.

Although this rule is accepted many find it difficult to remember in the hurly burly of daily activities.One’s own difficulties,worries and needs can take priority to the extent of others being perceived almost as the enemy.To get back on an even keel of self possession and adult functioning requires space for perpective.One way to do this is to regularly take time for ‘spot’ meditation or time out for personal reflection,to slow down.This takes practice and can become ingrained as a routine to get outside ‘the belly of the whale’ of bad feeling and see life more impartially and objectively.Working on effective communication skills to understand others,resolve problems and engaging in self esteem building activities helps to limit resentment or disrespect for others.Then  problems or difficulties can be focussed on with an ‘I’m OK-You’re OK’ attitude. This is a work in progress which is never entirely completed.The possible value of seeing “Tat Tvam Asi'(.Thou art That),as postulated in the Upanishads, is the hope for more cohesion, harmony and balance with associated reduction in stress.

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