Thursday, June 17, 2010

Something to think about

The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant
(Egyptian), c. 1800 B. C.: "Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do." (May be the earliest version ever written.)

Mahabharata, c. 800 B. C.: "Deal with others as thou wouldst thyself be dealt with. Do nothing to thy neighbor which thou wouldst not have him to thee hereafter."

Dadistan-I dinik, Zend-Avesta. c. 700 B. C.: "That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self."

Undana Varga. c. 500 B. C.: "Hurt not others with that which pains yourself."

Confucius, 5th century B. C.: "Tuan-mu Tzv said, 'What I do not wish others to do unto me I also wish not to do unto others.' Do not do unto others what you would not they should do unto you."

Mo Tzu, 470-391 B. C.: "If people regarded other people's families in the same way that they regard their own, who then would incite their own family to attack that of another? For one would do for others as one would do for oneself."

Plato, c. 4th century B. C.: "May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me."

, c. 200 B. C.: "Ponder well the maxim: Never do to other persons what would pain thyself."

Hillel Ha-Babli, c. 30 B. C.: "Whatsoever thou wouldst that men should not do to thee, do not do
that to them. This is the whole law. The rest is only explanation."

Epictetus, c. A. D. 100: "What thou avoidest suffering thyself seek not to impose on others."

St. Luke, c. A. D. 75: "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."

St. Matthew, A. D. 75: "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."

Mohammed, 7th century A. D.: "Say not, if people are good to us, we will do good to them, and if people oppress us we will oppress them: but resolve that if people do good to you, you will do good to them, and if they oppress you, oppress them not again."


  1. Wisdom is wisdom. It makes sense that you can find people agreeing with this way of thinking throughout the ages.

  2. Yes, the wise have consistently made this point through the ages and most people have consistently ignored it through the ages.

  3. Thanks, Fred, for sharing all the wonderful sources. I was not familiar with many of them. So, here is a rhetorical question: Why is such wisdom so universal but so universally ignored?

  4. R. T.,
    "Why is such wisdom so universal but so universally ignored?"

    I'm glad it's a "rhetorical question" and therefore one I don't have to answer. [g]

    Perhaps because it's hard to do: to follow this maxim, one must consider the effect on others, which is a considerable step beyond considering the effects on oneself.