Principle 33: Doing Unto Others.

This entry is part 29 of 98 in the series Principles

Jesus gave out one of the most quoted ideals in human history when he said, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

On the surface it seems pretty simple, but is it?

When Jesus said “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” he was acknowledging a principle within the Law of Cause and Effect, or Karma.

In other words, he realized that “as we sow even so shall we reap.” Therefore, if we want good to come back to us a good rule of thumb is to follow the Golden Rule. This throws into motion a cause that will bring back to us effects that we will be happy to receive.

Even though this principle seems so simple that even a child can understand there are those who are successful in warping its meaning.

The most popular corruption is found in the thought: “Do it to him before he does it to you.”

Even though most intelligent people realize this is miles away from the principle other sincere people still don’t get it right. Many misunderstand the meaning by changing it in their minds to read: “Do unto others as they want done to them.”

Probably the majority of people see this twist in the meaning – yet this is not what is implied in the Golden Rule.

Let us suppose your child wants to eat sweets all day long. If you do unto him as he wants done then you will give him all the candy he wants for breakfast lunch and dinner.

On the other hand, the responsible adult will ask himself how he would have liked to have been treated when he was a child. He will think back and understand that, on reflection, he would have liked to have been raised on a healthy diet. Therefore, to treat the child as he wants to be treated would require him to not let the child ruin his health. The parent would deny him some of his desires.

When we realize the true application we will see that two different people can live the Golden Rule, yet apply it differently. Two different people will have two different ideas of what they want done to them.

Let us give two examples.

A local freeloader comes to Jim and asks him for a loan. Jim thinks, “If I needed a loan then I would want someone to give me one so I guess I’d better loan him money if I am to obey the Golden Rule.”

A similar freeloader comes to John, but John thinks differently. “When I was young I asked a friend for a loan and he denied it to me. This was the best thing that ever happened for it forced me to make the money on my own and changed my life for the better. If I obey the Golden Rule I will deny him the loan so he too may learn from his struggle.”

How about if someone was “down-and-out” and needed food?

If the person were in such a bad way then it would be dishonest for John to deny him, for any sane person would want help if he or his family were short on food. Assisting those in great need is always a good way to apply the Rule.

What if someone is a masochist and gets a warped pleasure from pain, such as being whipped? Should he go about whipping everyone in his path in order to obey the Rule?

Common sense tells us this violates the spirit of the Golden Rule as well as throwing into motion cause that can come back as a negative effect.

The principle of harmlessness also comes into play. If we want something done to us that would cause harm to another (if done to him) then we should not do it. The overriding principle to look at is cause and effect or reaping what we sow. Most of us have a sense of whether our actions are planting good or bad seeds. If we sincerely attempt to plant the good seed while doing unto others as we would have others do unto us then there is a good chance we will be using the Golden Rule as intended by the Master.

Copyright 2014 by J J Dewey

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