Ethics are a set of beliefs about ‘what is right’ and ‘what is wrong’. A vibrant person knows that he knows that he knows what is right and what is wrong. He or she is sure, confident, and steadfast in his or her ability to discern.
How does an individual do this?
An individual uses the rule that is practiced around the world in various cultures, religions, and far-reaching societies. She practices the “Golden Rule”.
Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you.
This rule is not some old-fashioned, stodgy, tired notion. It’s a classic. Like a ’66 Mustang, a Channel purse, or a deluxe cheeseburger; this rule never disappoints. The enlightened individual knows the Golden Rule is relevant to any situation. This classic rule is the rule that must guide all behavior to empower the ethics of dignity and respect. While this rule is most often credited to Jesus Christ in his statement “Love your neighbor as yourself”, the Golden Rule has manifested across religious, territorial, and cultural boundaries.
Over a long summer with no vacation in sight, I declared a Saturday on the calendar a vacation day. I told my family that I needed a break. I announced we were headed to the mountains to hike, explore, shop and go out for dinner. We started our day by driving up highway 321 toward Blowing Rock, NC anticipating getting on a trail to hike. We pulled into the Moses H. Cone State Park. Here we found the original estate of Moses Cone. Moses Cone was an entrepreneur deemed the ‘Denim King’. He built a manufacturing business that employed residents of the Appalachians. He was an influence that spurred the economy in a powerful way. In the end, he left his estate to the State North Carolina so that my family and I could hike and enjoy the mountains. Moses understood the golden rule, and, he lived it.
When we stepped into the house to take in the history, we were impressed with his love for his family and for nature. The pictures and captions in the first floor museum demonstrated that Moses and his wife led a life full of gratitude for their blessings. History tells us that they loved the land and took walks everyday. They cherished the fruits of their labor, and took the cue from the creator to be creative. There were tons of crafts by artisans who loved textiles just like Moses. But what captured my attention most was a display of hand painted quotes suitable for framing. Amongst the selection was a depiction of the golden rule through the hearts of various value based cultures, religions, and territories.
In the beginning were the instructions. They are to love and respect all living creatures and Mother Earth. –North American Indian
Do not to another what is disagreeable to another. –Hindu Faith
What is hateful to you do not to your fellowman. That is the entire Law, all the rest is commentary. –Judaism
That nature alone is good which shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self. –Zoroastrian
Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself. –BaHai Faith
None of you is a believer until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself. –Islam
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. –Christianity
Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find harmful…-Buddhism
The enlightened individual understands that the core value of relationships exemplified in the Golden Rule is the essence of ethics. In fact, as I perused the quotes, I celebrated that there are universal rules or ethics that everyone on the planet can embrace. To be a vibrant person, one must grasp them and use them to influence the world. When an individual moves toward a life embodying the Golden Rule one spreads dignity, respect, walks the talk.
I challenge you to build relationships that spread this universal ethical view. Let’s serve human kind in a high and powerful way.