So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7 : 12

This passage is based on Leviticus 19:18 and often called the Golden Rule “…thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” The golden rule is a moral principle which says that you should treat others the same way you would like to be treated yourself.

However, the Golden Rule doesn’t really mean that you should treat someone else exactly as you’d want them to treat you. It means that you should put yourself in their shoes, asking yourself how you think they want to be treated. How would you want to be treated if you were in their situation? In 1963 US President John Kennedy referred to the golden rule in an anti-segregation speech at the time of the first black person being enrolled at the University of Alabama. He asked white Americans to consider what it would be like to be treated as second-class citizens because of skin colour. White Americans were asked to imagine themselves being black — and being told that they couldn’t vote, or go to the best public schools, or eat at most public restaurants, or sit in the front of the bus. Would white Americans be content to be treated that way? Yet this was how black Americans were treated. Does this not resonate with what is still happening in our world today?

 

Prayer: this prayer was written by Eusebius of Caesarea who was Bishop of Caesarea Maritima about 314 AD

May I be an enemy to no one and the friend of what abides eternally.

May I never quarrel with those nearest me, and be reconciled quickly if I should.

May I never plot evil against others, and if anyone plots evil against me,

may I escape unharmed and without the need to hurt anyone else.

May I love, seek and attain only what is good.

May I desire happiness for all and harbour envy for none.

May I never find joy in the misfortune of one who has wronged me.

May I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make reparation.

May I gain no victory that harms me or my opponent.

May I reconcile friends who are mad at each other.

May I, insofar as I can, give all necessary help to my friends and to all who are in need.

May I never fail a friend in trouble.

May I be able to soften the pain of the grief stricken and give them comforting words.

May I respect myself.

May I always maintain control of my emotions.

May I habituate myself to be gentle, and never angry with others because of circumstances.

May I never discuss the wicked or what they have done, but know good people and follow in their footsteps.

Amen

 

Action: Whose shoes will you walk in today?

Try to place yourself in the shoes of another person – a loved one, colleague, someone you meet in the supermarket or you read about. Really try to understand what it is like to be them, what they are going through, and why they do what they do.

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