The Golden Rule

A Simple Common Morality Across All Religions

The Golden Rule

Simply put, the Golden Rule is a conscious decision to always put yourself in the shoes of another before conducting yourself in a way that will have a direct effect upon the other. Most of us are taught this principle at such an early age that it may seem completely banal; yet how many of us can claim to truly put this into practice on a daily basis? It is not easy to do so. Our wisdom traditions remind us to keep the Golden Rule in our conscious awareness as a daily guiding principle for how we interact with others.

Additional Quotes

C.S. Lewis
Christian theologian and writer

“I know that some people say the idea of a Law of Nature or decent behaviour known to all men is unsound, because different civilisations and different ages have had quite different moralities. But this is not true. There have been differences between their moralities, but these have never amounted to anything like a total difference. If anyone will take the trouble to compare the moral teaching of, say, the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks and Romans, what will really strike him will be how very like they are to each other and to our own[…]Men have differed as regards what people you ought to be unselfish to—whether it was only your own family, or your fellow countrymen, or every one. But they have always agreed that you ought not to put yourself first. Selfishness has never been admired.”

Baruch Spinoza
Enlightenment philosopher
Science, Psychology, & Philosophy

“The good which every man who pursues virtue aims at for himself he will also desire for the rest of mankind, and all the more as he acquires a greater knowledge of God.”

Charles Darwin
English naturalist and biologist
Science, Psychology, & Philosophy

“As man advances in civilisation, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the
simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and
sympathies to all the members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This
point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending
to the men of all nations and races.”

The Hebrew Bible
Jewish scripture

“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”

Jeffrey J. Kripal
Historian of religions

“There is no scriptural text more studied and analyzed in the professional study of religion than the Bible. As a whole, then, the comparative study of religion has followed, from its very beginning until this day, its own version of the ‘golden rule’: apply the very same methods to your own tradition that you would apply to those of others. And, preferably, do this first and most fully.”

The Bhagavad Gita
Hindu scripture

“When a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were his own, he has attained the highest state of spiritual union.”