The Ethic of Reciprocity

Did you know that the Golden Rule is also called the Ethic of Reciprocity?

This simple and powerful concept lies at the heart of all religions.

  • Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself. (Bahá’í Faith)
  • This is the sum of Dharma [duty]: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you. (Brahmanism)
  • Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.(Buddhism)
  • And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.(Christianity)
  • 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.(Confuscianism)
  • This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you. (Hinduism)
  • …thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (Judaism )
  • None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself. (Islam)
  • Do not kill or injure your neighbor, for it is not him that you injure, you injure yourself. But do good to him, therefore add to his days of happiness as you add to your own. Do not wrong or hate your neighbor, for it is not him that you wrong, you wrong yourself. But love him, for Moneto loves him also as he loves you. (Shawnee Indian)
  • As thou deemest thyself, so deem others. (Sikhism)
  • Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.(Zoroastrianism)

But what’s in it for us?

If instead of seeing what we can get from the world, we train ourselves to give, then there will be quite a lot of advantage all round as we help to create environments of reciprocal goodness.

A life of generous giving is as much about being generous in our words and actions as it is about sharing our material possessions.

“To give and to be generous are attributes of Mine; well is it with him that adorneth himself with My virtues.” Bahá’u’lláh (1)

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