It is like the common sense rule for all of humanity. You don't have to follow any religion to practice it, you just do it.
For example, ever notice if you smile at people...they smile at you?
If you say "hello". People reply "hello".
They may be thinking who the hell is that, but, it doesn't really matter. They will still reply, seriously try it.
Today, we went out for a little stroll. As we walked along another couple met us on the path.
We exchanged best wishes for a happy new year. Did we know them? Nope!
Does it matter? Nope!
But there it was: The Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have done to you)
If that is to religious for you, I understand, it does sound a bit like something a deity would lay down for the followers...
So let's use the ethic of reciprocity instead.. what is reciprocity?
Check a dictionary and it says "reciprocity is the state of being reciprocal" So what is reciprocal??
This is getting wordy and definition oriented isn't it?
But, hey we gotta know what it is we speak of right?
Reciprocal: Shared, felt or shown by both sides.
Like the big purple dinosaur: "I love you, You love me" etc. etc. etc. (but without the creepiness)
So the Golden Rule (heavy religious overtones aside) and the ethics of reciprocity are the same. They simply mean doing unto others as you would have them do to you.
Maybe this is a good way for humans to begin a much needed change?
And the beauty of this? Getting back to the heavy religious overtone version.
The Golden Rule is found in all the religions! It is a great uniting stance!!
Just read on. Forget about all the differences in the religions of the world. Focus on the similarities... and the golden rule is there.
- "Therefore 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." Matthew 7:12, King James Version.
- "None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." Number 13 of Imam "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths." 5
- "...a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?" Samyutta NIkaya v. 353
- This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you. Mahabharata 5:1517
- "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary." Talmud, Shabbat 31a.
You can look here for more religions that share this common moral value.