The Golden Rule
“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
You know this passage of scripture. Everyone knows this passage of scripture. You may not be able to cite chapter and verse (though you can now because it is right there), but you know these words. It is The Golden Rule.
In fact, a version of these words is found in all the major world religions.
In Islam, you must desire for others what you desire for yourself.
Judaism says, what is hateful to you do not do to others.
For Buddhists, do not treat others in ways that you would find hurtful. Same for Hindu.
Yes, pretty much everyone knows The Golden Rule.
So why do we do unto others things we would never want done to ourselves? Why do we do what is hurtful? Why do we desire nothing but rainbows and sugarplums for ourselves, but not so much for others?
I wish I knew. It would seem knowing is very different from doing.
I get the sense from the gospels that Jesus knew how hard it would be for us to do to others as we would have others do to us. Otherwise, what more would need to be said? Instead, he kept teaching, kept preaching, kept healing and demonstrating what The Golden Rule looked like in practice. He kept telling people to show compassion and be generous and help "the least of these" among us. He encouraged us to forgive others, just as we are forgiven. He taught us to be welcoming of others by welcoming a little child.
And when Jesus was asked which commandment is the greatest, well, I am sure you KNOW what he said.
Now DO it.