“the Golden Rule”
What it is? What is its inherent meaning and value? What happens when our neighbors and countrymen no longer seek this basic tenet for our society?
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy provides this:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This seems the most familiar version of the golden rule, highlighting its helpful and proactive gold standard. Its corollary, the so-called “silver rule,” focuses on restraint and non-harm: “do nothing to others you would not have done to you.” There is a certain legalism in the way the “do not” corollary follows its proactive “do unto” partner, in both Western and Eastern scriptural traditions. The rule’s benevolent spirit seems protected here from being used to mask unsavory intents and projects that could be hidden beneath. (It is sobering to encounter the same positive-negative distinction, so recently introduced to handle modern moral dilemmas like abortion, thriving in 500 B.C.E.)”
The Wikipedia page on “the Golden Rule” explains:
This concept describes a “reciprocal”, or “two-way”, relationship between one’s self and others that involves both sides equally, and in a mutual fashion.
This concept can be explained from the perspective of psychology, philosophy, sociology and religion. Psychologically, it involves a person empathizing with others. Philosophically, it involves a person perceiving their neighbor as also an “I” or “self”. Sociologically, this principle is applicable between individuals, between groups, and also between individuals and groups. (For example, a person living by this rule treats all people with consideration, not just members of his or her in-group.) Religions figure prominently in the history of this concept.
. . .
All versions and forms of the proverbial Golden Rule have one aspect in common: they all demand that people treat others in a manner in which they themselves would like to be treated.
America was founded on an inherent understanding and reverence for “the Golden Rule”. Thomas Jefferson wrote to George Washington dated January 4, 1786:
God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan.
Jefferson wrote this BEFORE the Constitutional convention of 1787. Thomas Jefferson understood and internalized the Golden Rule, and realized it must be taught through and with America’s EDUCATION system and laws.
This spring my family and I toured more renowned State Universities and their engineering programs. A recurring theme was advocated as inclusion to the tour groups and their parents, “we have these groups on our campus for you to join”:
Society of Women Engineers
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
During the hours long drive home after our first Engineering School tour, my son asked,
“Dad, did you notice the Engineering clubs/societies? Why can’t we have a Student Engineering Society where everyone is welcome? If white males created one, they would be called racist.”
Each time the Engineering schools put up powerpoint slides of these societies for the audiences’ attention, I ponder;
- What is the result on “others” when any gender, race, color, or creed sets itself apart?
- What is the result and point of view for “other” students with regard to those who choose to set themselves apart from all the all engineering students?
- Would “others” feel inclined to join a group that self describes itself for a race or gender not your own?
- What would happen if in response to other races and genders creating their own societies, “others” created a Society of “others” Engineers?
Does this self determined setting apart create an atmosphere of inclusion and trust?
Or, do these actions create an atmosphere that says;
- We are different.
- We are not like you, and
- You are not welcome.
Does the encouragement and fostering of student societies that group people by their gender, race, color, and creed make it inevitable that “white male” students would respond in the manner as recently occurred at the University of Oklahoma this past March?
Does the encouragement of student societies that exclude by race, color, and creed foster division, reaction, and backlash by those not welcome? And the irony of all ironies:
Why is there a double standard for America’s society?
- “the Golden Rule” for whites and males, and
- Another lesser standard for everyone else.
What happened to the concept of “equal protection under the law?”
Whites and males are still compared and “held” to the standard of “the Golden Rule.” Everyone else is not. Is everyone else not worthy of such lofty goals? Are they not capable of reaching for the highest moral standard?
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream was a society where everyone is judged by the content of their character, NOT THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN.
WHY HAS THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN AMERICA ABANDONED THE GOLDEN RULE?
It is impossible for a society pre-occupied with labeling and grouping everyone by the color of their skin, gender, or sexual practices, to be “colorblind” and judge people by the content of their character. Gender, race, color, or creed based student associations should be identified for what they are.
“The leaders” of our society engender and indoctrinate division, separation, and promote distrust and disengagement.
Why has the Federal Government and now University education, spent so many decades and resources placing “the People” in different “groups”? Is it:
To divide and subjugate “the People”?
To Keep “the People” at odds with their neighbors and they are too busy to keep up with their “leaders”?
Everyone realizes the pillars of American society have become unjust. American governance and our education system no longer even pretend to advocate for a just and equal society. They purposely teach the opposite of the Golden Rule. They advocate for a society where there is one rule of law for whites and males, and another lesser rule of law for all others that purposely disadvantages whites and males.
A society with double standards is without “equal protection under the law” and is an unjust society. An unjust society will cease to be supported by “the People” and will suffer the consequences of such mistreatment.