September 6, 2009

Golden Rule.com, an introduction

Nearly everyone knows what the Golden Rule is: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Even more simply stated it is: “Treat others as you want to be treated.” It is part of Jesus’ teaching on life. It is found in both Matthew (7:21) and Luke (6:31).

There are some recent ‘social movements’ like “Pay it Forward” and “Random Acts of Kindness” that encourage us to think of the needs of others. Oprah Winfrey even gave $1000 to people so they can “make a difference” and People Magazine recognized everyday heroes who are making a difference. GoldenRule.com is a bit different.

GoldenRule.com is not me alone or you alone.
GoldenRule.com is Christian women and men choosing day by day and even moment by moment to make Jesus’ words their Rule of Life.
GoldenRule.com is deciding to “Treat everyone in the way you would expect to be treated” in all your actions and relationships.
GoldenRule.com is more than an ethical way of life.
GoldenRule.com demands dedication and self sacrifice to consciously put other people first.
GoldenRule.com calls us to be a living website manifesting God’s Golden Rule.

Easy—no. Rewarding—yes.

From the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) to Native American spirituality and even Humanism and Wicca, the Golden Rule concept is found in most belief systems. Some of these statements sound very similar to “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Here are just a few examples.

"All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really one." Black Elk
"Don't do things you wouldn't want to have done to you” British Humanist Society.
"An it harm no one, do what thou wilt." The Wiccan Rede.

In a world where everyone often seems to be at odds with everyone else, the Golden Rule is a good place to return to. How do you live out this Golden Rule, esp. when there is conflict and confusion? GoldenRule.com is a place to come to for an exchange of ideas on how we can live our lives by the Golden Rule and learn to treat others as we would like to be treated.

Golden Rule.com is a challenge to change the way you interact with those in your life. Check back every week for meditations on living out GoldenRule.com. You can share your successes and your failures by commenting so that we are all encouraged and strengthened.

Ecclesiastes (4:9-12) reminds us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Together we will strengthen each other in following the Golden Rule. John Donne states us “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

We are meant to live our faith journeys in community with one another and the internet can extend that community beyond our immediate friends and neighbors. For the next 4 weeks we will look at some citations in Matthew and Luke related to the Golden Rule and how they inform our actions toward our Family, Friends, Acquaintances, and even Strangers. A good place to start is with the Great Commandment. Come back next week to explore the connection between the two citations.

A little visual aid to help you is an Infinity Loop with the Golden Rule on one side and the Great Commandment on the other. When you twist it correctly, you will have a never ending loop and can trace the Golden Rule and then the Great Commandment without picking up your finger. A 2-sided paper has become an endless loop that reminds us of our plan to live the Golden Rule.
You can download directions at: http://cynthiadavisauthor.com/Enrichment.htm

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