2002-11-30 / Columnists

Health and Harmony

The Golden Rule
By Dr. Nancy Gahles

The Golden Rule

Thankfulness: a state of appreciation. Apreciation: recognizing the worth. So defined by Webster’s, it all seems so easy. Be thankful. Recognize the worth. The value of what we have, what we own, what we have been given. Value. What about values? The quality that makes something or someone valuable or worth something. The value of a person, for who they are, just because they are.

The platitudes come out as rhetoric in the days before the holidays. "We all have so much to be thankful for. Other people have it much worse than me. I should be grateful." Yet, the apprehension is palpable. The anxiety levels are high as people discuss Thanksgiving and where they will be and with whom. Then comes the emotions of anger, unresolved familial conflicts, barely suppressed transgressions never forgotten, all lying in wait for the Thanksgiving ambush.

I asked one of my patients, "What is your statement for Thanksgiving?" and she replied, "Live and let live." Value the life of one another. Live in a state of appreciation. Not a unique concept though one easily forgotten. As I reflected on this, I recalled The Golden Rule. Every life has value even as your own does. We were all taught to live in this way. We seem to have forgotten how to do it. Let me refresh your memory.

All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them ; for this is the law of the prophets. Christian (Matthew 7:12)

Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. Buddhist (Udana-Varga 5:18).

Regard your brother’s gain as your own gain and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss. Taoist (T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien).

That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary. Jewish (Talmud, Shabbat 31a).

This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you. Brahman (Mahabharata 5:1517).

Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others what you would not have done unto you. Confucian (Analects 15:23).

That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself. Zoroastrian (Dadistan-I-dinik 94:5).

No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. Islamic (Sunnah).

Remember? At the end of every forget, I remember. This Thanksgiving, as we all sit around the virtual Thanksgiving table let us remember that we are all part of the Human Family. All of our purposes are sacred. Not necessarily to be understood but to be valued as you value your own. Understanding begets love. Love begets peace. Peace begets Health and Harmony. It all starts with one thought and the moment that you say "Yes!" the Circle begins and it encompasses us all. The miraculous dance of a Life lived well. Remember?

May The Blessings Be!

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