Treat others as you wish to be treated. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Many of us remember hearing about The Golden Rule when we were children, but, this maxim is not just for children. The Golden Rule provides us with a way of living that not only will make our lives better, but everyone else’s, too. The Golden Rule is a maxim (or a saying that expresses truth or a rule of conduct) that is found in many different religions and cultures. It is considered the ethic of reciprocity for some religions.
What is the Golden Rule?
The Golden Rule is considered an ethic of reciprocity in some religions. It appears as both a positive and negative ethic. The Golden Rule ethic appears in Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and many other of the world’s largest religions. Here are some examples of the different ways that The Golden Rule is defined:
Treat others as you want to be treated.
Do not treat others in ways that you would not want to be treated.
What you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself.
The Golden Rule and Christianity
In Christianity, Jesus taught The Golden Rule in His Sermon on the Mount. There are different references to The Golden Rule ethic throughout the Bible. For example, Matthew 7:12 provides that “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Further, Leviticus 19:18 provides we “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”
Jesus knew all about the human heart and its tendency for selfishness. He described the principal behind The Golden Rule, thereby giving us a standard to live by. One that we can gauge our actions through and consider whether we are choosing the right or wrong path.
Jesus spoke of The Golden Rule as a positive command whereas other religions often speak of The Golden Rule as a negative command. For example, in Buddhism, it is stated that one should “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” (Udanavarga 5:18) In Hinduism, it is stated that “This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.” (Mahabharata 5:1517)
Though these maxims are similar, they are stated negatively. Therefore, they rely on one acting passively. In contract, Jesus’ Golden Rule is a positive command, asking us to love and be kind proactively. Jesus commands that we do nice things for one another rather than simply refrain from doing things that harm one another.
The Bible provides us with words of wisdom on how to live the best possible life. The Golden Rule provides us with an ethic that we should all live by to make our world a better place. This includes transforming our own life into the best it can be. It shows us how to truly love our neighbors as ourselves.
Now that you know how important and life changing The Golden Rule is, how about picking up a great book that teaches children how to be kind and live their lives using The Golden Rule as their guidance?
Golden Rule Children's Books: Children's Books About Kindness: Golden Rule Books
An Adventurous Judge. A Selfish Attorney. A Planet Protector. And A Flying Chocolate Cake.
Join the world’s goofiest judge, as she and her seven-year-old grandson, Milo, embark on a camping and canoeing adventure. There is only one slight problem. Judge Birdie does not know how to camp or canoe.
While Judge Birdie and Milo are navigating their way through life’s unexpected twists and turns, back in Greenville things are heating up. A fierce battle between attorney Fable Finch, attorney Thomas Kindly and a chocolate cake is taking place. Will they learn the meaning of The Golden Rule or will evil prevail?
Age Range: Grades 2 and up
In this beautifully illustrated book, grandpa explains that The Golden Rule is a simple statement on how to live. It can be practiced by people of all ages and religions. The book considers how to apply the ethic to our lives thereby living our best life.
Age Range: 1 – 8 years
Hardcover: 32 pages
What Does It Mean To Be Kind does exactly what the title of the book asks, it examines what it means to be kind. This book provides real life examples of how all of us can be a kind person and make life better for somebody else. When we all start to be kind, something magical starts to happen. Our entire community transforms into one of kindness and respect. Age Range: 4-8, Hardcover 36 pages
Be Kind takes a close look at what it means to a kind when life presents different situations where you may not always feel like being kind. Should we play with the new kid at school? Should we stand up for the one being bullied? This book explores not only what it means to be kind, but also how all of our actions make a difference.
Age Range: 3-6 years
Hardcover: 32 pages
In this fun, illustrated adventure, Sister Bear is faced with the dilemma of if she should ignore the new girl at school just because her friends are ignoring her. This book shows us how choosing kindness is not always the easy choice, but is the right one.
Age Range: 4-8 years
Paperback: 32 pages