Each year, in this holiday season of kindness, we reprint a universal message from all the world's major religions and many philosophers. Christendom calls it the Golden Rule. Here, in historical sequence, is the maxim voiced in many languages:
"That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself." -- Zoroaster, Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5, Persia, c. 600 B.C.
"What you do not want others to do to you, do not do to others." -- Confucius, The Doctrine of the Mean XIII and Analects 15:23, China, c. 500 B.C.
"Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." -- Buddha, Udana-Varga 5:18, India, c. 500 B.C.
"Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you." -- Isocrates, Greece, 375 B.C.
"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, Taoist, China, c. 200 B.C.
"What thou thyself hatest, do to no man." -- Tobit IV, apocryphal Hebrew scripture, 180 B.C.
"This is the sum of all true righteousness: Deal with others as you would yourself be dealt. Do nothing to your neighbor which you would not have him do to you." -- Mahabharata 5:1517, Hindu, India, 150 B.C.
"The question was once put to Aristotle how we ought to behave to our friends, and his answer was: "As we should wish them to behave to us."' -- Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Philosophers, 150 B.C.
"What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. That is the entire law; all the rest is commentary." -- Hillel Ha-Babli, Talmud, Shabbat 31a, Hebrew, 30 B.C.
"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 and Luke 6:18, c. 50 A.D.
"No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself." -- Sunnah supplement to the Islamic Koran, after 700 A.D.It's an eternal message for the season of caring -- and for every day.