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
It used to be called “The Golden Rule”. And, it used to be taught everywhere, it seemed. It was so common in my childhood that my mom would just have to say the first three words, “Do unto others…” as a reminder to be kind, honest, good, whatever character quality I was lacking at that moment. Sometimes I would complete the sentence for her in a sing-song-y voice – “as you would have others do unto you.” Everyone knew the Golden Rule. Parents, teachers, siblings, grandparents, and friends were always reciting it. Heck, even bullies and enemies would cite the Golden Rule if they thought it would help their cause.
And it’s the one rule for my boys. Unlike my “Ten Basic Rules of Boyhood”, this is one rule I actually want my sons to follow.
“Brevity is the soul of wit.” William Shakespeare wrote that. Basically, it means that one succinct phrase or sentence can sometimes capture the essence of a thought better than volumes of essays. The Golden Rule is possibly the best example. When Jesus said this, he said that the entirety of Jewish Old Testament Law and Prophecy was summed up in this one sentence – “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” It is perfect in its simplicity and truth. And it is the one true rule of boyhood that needs to be remembered. Thankfully, it’s not that hard to remember – “Do unto others…”
What other universal rules need to be remembered?