Well, another Olympics draws to a close. Over 10,000 athletes representing 204 countries managed to live in close quarters and engage in fierce competition without maiming or killing each other in a struggle over land or differences in the color of their skin or their religious beliefs. Is this a reflection of the idea that the things that we have in common as human beings are actually stronger and far more numerous than our differences? Or does all that swimming and running and diving and volleyballing and cycling just leave everyone too tired to squabble? If the latter is the case, then I recommend the government leaders of all the nations of the world immediately begin an extreme regimen of diet and exercise.
However, about those common bonds. It is true that "The Golden Rule" is a stated maxim in all faiths. An ethic of reciprocity, a similar code of morality runs through them all:
Baha'i: "And is thine eyes be turned towards justic, choose thou for thy neighbor that which thou choosest for thyself." -- Lawh'i 'Ibn'i Dhib "Epistle to the Son of the Wolf" 13
Buddhism: "Hurt not others in ways you yourself would find hurtful." -- Udana-Varga, 5:18
Christianity: "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets." -- Matthew 7:12
Confucianism: "Do not unto others what you do not want them to do to you." --Analects 15:13
Hinduism: "This is the sum of duty: do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you." -- The Mahabharata, 5:1517
Islam: "Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself." -- Fortieth Hadith of an-Nawawi 13
Jainism: "A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated." -- Sutrakritanga 1:11:33
Judaism: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole of the Torah; all the rest of it is commentary." -- Talmud, Shabbet 31a
Native American: "Respect for all life is the foundation." -- The Great Law of Peace
Sikhism: "Treat others as thou wouldst be treated thyself." -- Adi Granth
Taoism: "Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain and your neighbor's loss as your own loss." -- T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien
Zoroastrianism: "That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself." -- Dadistan-I-Dinik, 94:5
(Translations courtesy of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, www.tanenbaum.org)
Another case of "easier said than done?"
Intern George will sing tonight
But enough seriousness for one morning. Intern George reports that rehearsals for the Closing Ceremonies have been "brilliant" and that he is simply "over the moon" at being a participant. He refuses to divulge the set list for the "celebration of British music," although he did say The Who (what's left of them) and Annie Lenox (with her old Eurythmics band mate Dave Stewart) were in especially fine voice.
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