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The Golden Rule

March 26, 2013

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
~ Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Leviticus 19.18

Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
~Christianity. Bible, Matthew 7.12

Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
~Islam. Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi 13

A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.
~Jainism. Sutrakritanga 1.11.33

Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.
~ Confucianism. Mencius VII.A.4

One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. All other activities are due to selfish desire.
~Hinduism. Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 113.8

Tsekung asked, “Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?” Confucius replied, “It is the word shu–reciprocity: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”
~Confucianism. Analects 15.23

A certain heathen came to Shammai and said to him, “Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.” Thereupon he repulsed him with the rod which was in his hand. When he went to Hillel, he said to him, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; all the rest of it is commentary; go and learn.”
~Judaism. Talmud, Shabbat 31a

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”
~ Christianity. Bible, Matthew 22.36-40

Selections from

I wrote here earlier about the newest batch of numbers showing that one in fifty school children has autism, and how perhaps this might mean it is time to start showing a little more respect to that growing population. This is the goal of the disability rights movement and of many autistic self-advocates – that society would start to make the small changes that mean the world to someone who would otherwise struggle to participate in typical societal settings. I often see the gay rights movement as intertwined with the autistic community, and as an example of the successes that the disability rights movement can achieve. By joining their voices with the voices of friends and family, they are finally being heard, they are changing the conversation and the perception, and I hope for nothing less than that in the disability rights movement as well. Both groups are human beings that are somehow separated from the rest of “typical” society by nothing more than a neurological difference – a different sort of wiring in the brain. “Different, but not less.” (Temple Grandin) Both groups are seeking relatively small changes from the larger population that would help them immensely. Small things like wheelchair accessibility, putting some felt tips on the bottoms of those noisy food court chairs, more equal opportunities in education and the workforce, and marriage equality.

When I met my husband for the first time, it was simply magical. And when he proposed to me, it was perfect. And when we got married, it was in a Church. My Daddy walked me down the aisle, gave me away, and my husband I were then married to each other – legally bound together as husband and wife. There was no discussion of the morality or the legality of it. And we both have equal rights when it comes to raising our children, making medical decisions for them and each other, or visiting each other in the hospital, should that ever happen. We can file joint tax returns. We can share a health insurance policy. Seemingly simple little things that we benefit so much from both emotionally and financially simply because we are allowed to be legally married.

I want that for my children. I want that for my friends. I want for any two people who absolutely love each other to have every opportunity that I have had. No American should be legally discriminated against based on their gender. Not allowing two men or two women to be legally married, legally punishes them. I know I wouldn’t want someone to come to me and say that my marriage is not valid just because my husband has blue eyes and I have brown eyes. Why would I do that to someone else? It just doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t.

And today there is an opportunity. Today a case is being heard in the highest court in the land to decide whether or not everyone in this country gets a fair shot at happiness, at love, at family, regardless of gender. And we all wait, breathless with anticipation. Because their victory is our victory, and our children’s victory. Because if they can be heard in the highest court, then so can our children. If they can achieve this basic civil right – the right to choose for themselves who to love, then maybe, just maybe our children can also change the conversation from disability to ability. Maybe this world could be a more accepting place for all of our children, black, white, gay, straight, deaf, hearing, blind, seeing, autistic, and neurotypical.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are almost there….


Editor’s note:
And for those that want to quote the Bible, “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” kinds of folks, I would kindly direct you back to the top of this post. Those who would use God’s Word as a tool for hate, must not understand God’s love. Judgement is His alone. Go get a life, and let everyone else live theirs.

“What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; all the rest of it is commentary; go and learn.”
~Judaism. Talmud, Shabbat 31a

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Life&Ink permalink
    March 26, 2013 7:36 pm

    A big, giant YAY!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  2. March 27, 2013 1:39 pm

    It is the wisdom and serenity of your post that touched me.


    • March 27, 2013 1:42 pm

      Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by. 🙂

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