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Friday, April 3, 2020

Golden Rule Day on April 5th

The Golden Rule and the Charter for Compassion

I received a message recently  from the Charter for Compassion announcing that they plan to celebrate a world-wide day of awareness of the Golden Rule on April 5, 2020.

Here is their message: 

As an ambassador we ask you to help us promote Golden Rule Day to your networks. 

You can share the following:

our website:

Facebook page: 

YouTube page:

You can share the videos posted there, and any content you may find in our facebook page.

We are celebrating Golden Rule Day on April 5th, and anyone can join in and watch all the fun and interesting videos we'll be showing.

Hope you will join.

Thank you

I agreed to spread the message.  I hope you will join in sharing the message of the Golden Rule. You can find more details about this movement and about this special day at the website mentioned above.

May I add that I have signed on to the Charter for Compassion? As a charter member of this movement, I received the note referred to at the beginning of this message.

Hope you will join this circle of compassion.

But I should first tell you what the Golden Rule is, what the Charter for Compassion is and who is behind this movement.

First, what is the Golden Rule?

The Golden Rule is the principle of treating others as you would like to be treated by others. Or, put it in a negative sense, not doing to others what you would not like done to you.

This principle is enshrined in all religions and traditions for millennia. But the name Golden Rule to refer to this principle seems to have originated in the 17th century in England. It was endorsed by leaders of major faiths of the modern world in 1993 by being included in the “Declaration towards a Global Ethic”. The exact words were: “We must treat others as we wish others to treat us.”

There are websites which list examples of this Golden Rule in all the major faiths. The ones I am most familiar with follow:

“What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”  Hillel, The Elder. Babylonian Talmud

“Do unto others what you want them do to you.”  Matthew 7:12 The New Testament

“Do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.” Maha Bharata Shanti Parva 167:9

Thiruvalluvar, the famous Tamizh poet, whose book Kural has been translated into all the  major languages of the world, has devoted an entire chapter (Chapter 32) to this topic. The title of this chapter is “Innaa Saiyamai”, which means “Not hurting others”. Verse 316 in this chapter reads as follows: “Do not do to others what you know has hurt yourself.”

Next, what is the Charter for Compassion and who is behind this movement?

Karen Armstrong, the celebrated scholar of world religions, noted that Compassion is emphasized in all world traditions. Yet, extremist views have overshadowed the application of this simple idea of compassion which is the essence of the Golden Rule. Therefore, she started a movement to encourage the application of the Golden Rule all over the world. She wanted to create a Charter for Compassion. Organizers of TED programs supported her efforts initially and now this has become a world movement. Several cities have adopted this Charter and initiated programs based on Compassion.

At this time in history when there is  more intolerance, violence and negative news cycles, let each one of us counteract their influence by spreading positive messages of Compassion and Golden Rule to bring harmony and well-being to all.  We owe it to the future generation.

Here are a few links to the Charter for Compassion movement. These links are worth sharing with members of our family and friends – particularly the younger generation.  

When I thought about what we can do now, particularly during this pandemic and the health-related global crisis, here are a ideas to consider:

1. Send a message of Gratitude to the Health Care Workers all over the world. They have put their own lives at risk to serve their fellow human beings.

2. Send a message of loving-kindness and a prayer to support all the mothers who are giving birth during this pandemic  without the support of their families.

3.Send a message of loving-kindness and compassion for all those patients who are seriously ill and, in the ICU, fighting their battle alone without the presence of their family

4.Send a message of loving-kindness and hope to the immigrants in limbo in several countries (I am told there about 22 million of them) who are left alone to fend for themselves in this moment of crisis

5. Finally and most importantly, do something tangible, something within our ability, to back up our wishes and prayers.

Thank you for reading

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