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H.O.W (Humanity One World). - The Golden Rule: do you really live it daily?
"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."
This simple statement attributed to Jesus of Nazarath is thought by many to be what is called The Golden Rule, and is considered to be THE standard for living. Basically, treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. Sound wisdom, and if followed, imagine how wonderful the world today would be if we simply lived by this one rule. I believe we would live in the Garden of Eden once more.
But before we continue, I must advise you that this sentiment is not relegated only to Christianity. It shows itself in other religions around the world.
The Holy Bible in Luke 6:31 states "And as ye would that men do to you, do ye also to them likewise."
The Torah in Tobit 4:15 states "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow."
Buddhism advises in Udanvarga 5:18 "Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful"
In the Baha'i Faith, it is written in Baha'u'llah 39, 40, and 41 "Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not."
And finally, Confucious advised "What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others."
So we see that this is not exclusive to Christianity and only these followers. It is written in the bulk of the world's religions and as such should be a simple thing to do, right? All we have to do is think of our fellow man, and not harm him in ways that we ourselves don't want to be harmed. If we do not want to be hurt, then why do we hurt so many others without a thought?
Because we do not think of others. Simple as that. We are so wrapped up in our job, our wants and desires (not our needs, mind you), and our pleasures of the flesh that others, including our families all too often, get left behind to fight for the scraps we have left in our dust. We care more about ourselves than we do anybody else in the world. Now, I am not saying everybody is this way; I know better than that. But there is a preponderance of humanity that do live their lives this way. And not in the ways you may think.
Doctors, do you really need the $150,000 car? The $500,000 house? Politicians, do you need these "perks" as well, living off the American blood like a tick growing fatter and fatter? These are a couple of examples of easy targets we can point our fingers at and say, "Is this how you treat your brothers and sisters? Taking, always taking?" But let's look a little deeper, shall we? What about the common worker, he that works every day to bring home an honest wage? He has a family that he loves and cares for, and looks out for at all times. He doesn't actively pursue causing others harm, but he doesn't actively help others, either. If he has any extra money left over at the end of the month, he might splurge and take his family out to dinner. No harm in that, is there? But in doing so, perhaps he drives by a soup kitchen, or a homeless shelter where he doesn't even see the need of others less fortunate than himself. Or he sees, on his way to work, a child walking to school in cold weather with no coat on, or a mother struggling to carry a child to her car and a bag of groceries at the same time. Or a man setting outside a store holding a sign declaring his need for food. Each of these can be seen by all every single day if we open our eyes enough to see them.
Ye who is without sin, cast the first stone. I am not casting stones here, as I myself have been guilty of each and every one of these situations in the past. I thought myself a Christian because I spoke kindly to everyone I know, whether or not they did the same to me. I smiled and opened a door, or helped someone to their car with something, or some other small gesture of kindness. Then I blithly went on my way, secure in the fact that I had "done my good deed for the day". Then went home and opened my pantry for a snack, or poured a tall, cold glass of milk, or sat down to a wonderful meal prepared by my lovely wife. And never the wiser was I. I saw these "panhandlers" outside of stores with their placards advising "will work for food" and drove past without an active thought beyond "Why can't these people get a job?" Christian thought, eh?
Recently, I read a Hub here titled "Will The Circle Be Unbroken: an encounter with a homeless man" authored by Reginald Boswell. It was an eye opener for me. I have read and taken to heart a number of the H.O.W. Hubs led by billibuc and followed so well by so many others. It makes me ashamed to think that what I thought was Christian living was just a veil I had pulled over my eyes to hide the truth, that I was not as Christian as I thought I was. Oh, I do my best to not actively cause harm to others, but do I go out of my way to help? My wife and I donate clothes to shelters; coats to different organizations; and have been known to give food to animal shelters, and thought myself as being good on that score. And maybe that is enough for some. But I am challenging myself, and you readers, to not stop there. Take the next step. I cannot say what that next step may be, I may have to do my best see it and recognize it in the moment it occurs. Or I may have to plan it out and take food to the local homeless shelter, or carry a few dollars in my pocket to give to some needy person outside a store, or any other of a hundred possibilities that I run across every single day. I am not saying to take every free moment or dollar and give it away; I am saying take it one step at a time and recognize when an opportunity presents itself to you.
Many years ago, I was presented with a situation. It was a cold, snowy night and I was going to meet some friends to rent a gymnasium to play basketball in. For some reason, I turned down a different street than I normally did on the way there and was stopped by a car stranded in the middle of the road. I got out and went to the window to see if I could help. A young woman was sitting in the car crying. She was a rough looking person, not dressed well at all. She relayed to me that her car was out of gas, and she had no money. I offered to help her move the car off the road to begin with. We began to push it when a police car drove up. The officer beckoned me over and told me this woman was just released from jail and was to leave the city immediately. I advised them that she was out of gas, and had no money. They didn't care; I was to leave her alone and go on my way. They would "deal" with her. I went back to her car, and gave her what money I had, maybe $10 or so. She tearfully thanked me, and said that now she wouldn't have to go to a nearby bar and "turn a trick" for gas money. My heart sank for her, to be at that point in her life. She also thanked me for the money because with those few dollars, she could not be considered a vagrant and arrested again on the spot by the officers waiting for me to leave. I just smiled, and told her to take care of herself. There was a gas station just a few yards from where she was at, and the owner knew me well. I told her to go to this station and tell them my name, and that he would help her to get a gas can and she would be alright. She tearfully thanked me again, and I turned to leave. I could see that the police were not happy with me, but what could they do? That was nearly 30 years ago, and I still think about that from time to time. I could have done more; but I could have done less, and then what would have happened to her? She would have been arrested right then again for sure; she might have had to do what she was afraid she would have to do for gas money. Who is to say what would have happened? But I know did something, and that felt better than doing nothing. That's all we need to do: something. Just do something.
Being a member of the Human Race has its perks, and it has its responsibilities, as well. We cannot take the perks while shucking the responsibilities. We are obligated to help one another out at every opportunity without fail. That is the way we can heal this world, one person at a time. Bill Holland has lit a light before our feet; others have lit their lamp off of his light. I am now lighting my lamp from those who have gone before me. Will you be the next to light the world? Will you join us in beginning to show the world that we care, and we are willing to put our money and time and effort where our mouths are? Join us in helping this world out of the pit of despair in has fallen into. Join us in lifiting others to our level of prosperity. Join us in helping out our fellow man.