The Golden Rule
Recently Parabola magazine shared an interview with Karen Armstrong from their magazine which originally came out in February of 2016. It's one of those articles that was necessary then, and even more so now. I remember writing about it on my previous blog, back then, but it's really all I can think about lately, so I'm sharing it again here. An excerpt:
P: How do we find our way out of this trap of spiritual materialism? Can we think our way out?
KA: Basically, I don’t think we need any great figure to come along. We know what to do. The golden rule, that’s all it is. All the traditions teach the same. Instead of waiting for some lead, just go on, just start practicing. And perhaps start demanding it from our politicians and religious leaders, too.
P: That is a radical suggestion.
KA: But everybody knows about the golden rule or compassion. “I may have faith that moves mountains,” says St. Paul. “But if I lack charity it’s worth nothing at all.” And then there’s imagination, which is the ability to think yourself into the position of another.
Have you heard about the Charter for Compassion? It's quite simple: it calls upon individuals to enact the Golden Rule around the world.
You can listen to it below. (If you're reading this in the newsletter you'll have to click the link to read the post in the browser to see the video).
When I say that it's quite simple, I know that it's also quite difficult. It takes energy, a great deal of energy, to use our imagination to think ourselves into the position of another. But what else is the imagination for?
by Miller Williams
Have compassion for everyone you meet,
even if they don’t want it. What seems conceit,
bad manners, or cynicism is always a sign
of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen.
You do not know what wars are going on
down there where the spirit meets the bone.
"I don't get tired of you. Don't grow weary
of being compassionate toward me!"
We know what to do, says Armstrong. And we know that there are so many wars going on where the spirit meets the bone. Let's not grow weary, let's never tire of using our imagination in this regard.