The Good Book tells us to “Do Unto Others as we would have the Do Unto Us.” This loving reminder seems to have taken on a different twist over the years into “Do Unto Others Before they Do Unto US!” We cannot live both ways; either we treat others as we would be treated, or we don’t. Another version of this time proven formula for joyful living has been proposed by Karen Armstrong who wrote the Charter for Compassion; this says ” Don’t do unto others what you would not want done to you.”
We are in the stranglehold of what I think of as “Silly Season,” which means the campaign season. All around us candidates for offices from President to Dog Catcher are throwing around accusations, character defamation, and innuendos, so many of which have no basis in fact simply to get your attention. When one party accuses another of being a liar, thief, crazy, or a megalomaniac, who gets hurt? We all get hurt because these carelessly bandied phrases demeans us all! What this jingoism does is cast blanket aspersions without personal responsibility attached. Would you want someone calling you a liar, a thief or crazy? Do you believe that in a one-on-one situation this would be tolerated? Not likely. But through the impersonal media there is no accountability for ones words, no opportunity to clarify a misconception or intentional twisting of information. We all suffer the consequences of these callous actions.
We do not have to follow the lead of those who would lead us, we can choose once again to be responsible for our words and actions, and we can demand that this who would lead do the same.
It is not all that difficult a charge to follow; do unto others what you would have done unto you.