We’ve all heard of the Golden Rule.
But, today I have three quick questions:
1. Do you know just how ubiquitous that Golden Rule is across cultures?
2. Have you ever heard of the Platinum Rule?
3. Do you practice both?
First: The Ubiquitous Golden Rule.
I love the way Dale Carnegie puts it in How to Win Friends and Influence People. He tells us: “Philosophers have been speculating on the rules of human relationships for thousands of years, and out of all that speculation, there has evolved only one important precept. It is not new. It is as old as history. Zoroaster taught it to his followers in Persia twenty-five hundred years ago. Confucius preached it in China twenty-four centuries ago. Lao-tse, the founder of Taoism, taught it to his disciples in the Valley of the Han. Buddha preached it on the bank of the Holy Ganges five hundred years before Christ. The sacred books of Hinduism taught it a thousand years before that. Jesus taught it among the stony hills of Judea nineteen centuries ago. Jesus summed it in one thought: ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’”
Here’s the quick tour:
Zoroaster says: “Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.”
Confucius says: “‘Is there a single word which can be a guide to conduct throughout one’s life?’ The Master said, ‘It is perhaps the word ‘shu.’ Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.’”
Lao Tzu says: “To those who are good to me, I am good; and to those who are not good to me, I am also good; and thus all get to receive good.”
Buddha says: “Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”
Hinduism says: “This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain.”
A goldmine of Golden Rules!
Next up: We have The Platinum Rule.
Enter: Tal Ben-Shahar and his brilliant perspective. He tells us: “Why the double standard, the generosity toward our neighbor and the miserliness where we ourselves are concerned? And so I propose that we add a new rule, which we can call the Platinum Rule, to our moral code: ‘Do not do unto yourself what you would not do unto others.’”
In The Pursuit of Perfect, Tal also adds this gem: “When the Dalai Lama was then asked to clarify whether indeed the object of compassion may be the self, he responded: ‘Yourself first, and then in a more advanced way the aspiration will embrace others. In a way, high levels of compassion are nothing but an advanced state of that self-interest. That’s why it is hard for people who have a strong sense of self-hatred to have genuine compassion toward others. There is no anchor, no basis to start from.’”
There we go. The Golden Rule AND The Platinum Rule.
Let’s have fun putting them into practice.
High fives and Gold + Platinum medals to YOU, the Olympic-caliber Optimizer!!