the Golden Rule
unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Golden Rule has long been
recognized as the core principle behind our moral values. Just about
every culture and religion recognizes some variation of this rule.
number of respondents to the Chivalry-Now surveys included
the Golden Rule when asked to define chivalryand for good
reason. The two are surely related, but they are different as well,
at least in our approach to them.
takes the Golden Rule not as a goal but as a starting point, by
asking questions that are implicit in the words themselves:
- How do I
want people to treat me, so I know how to treat others?
- How do I
use this knowledge to help better the world?
- Do my actions
fulfill my side of the equation? Or do I expect people to treat
me better than I treat them?
lead us to the profound meaning of the Golden Rule, which is only
a step away from the maxim itself:
a world starving for inspiration, would humanity be better served
if we treated people better than we demanded
example: Would we improve gender relations by being more than just
cooperative partners, bartering for measured favors? Could we put
our lives on the line for causes that don't benefit us directly,
but serve a higher good? Since none of us like to be victims of
gossip, is it possible to reject gossip altogether, rather than
tacitly accepting it? Can we be generous to the poor without thought
of reward? Can we be unselfish and courteous at all times, even
when others are not?
these questions of conscience, and others like them, we find the
germination of a higher moral instinct, searching for truth. Legends
of chivalry point this out. In Arthurian romances, Sir Perceval
met the requirements of that great, existential mystery we call
the Holy Grail not by strength of arms or powerful deeds, but by
asking the right questions.
Golden Rule then becomes a stepping stone or catalyst for pursuing
higher moral truth. It surpasses the dynamic of reciprocity implicit
in its message and replaces it with a sense of deep moral duty.
The Quest that follows becomes a gauntlet through which our personal
qualities are developed, tested and refined.
this comes the realization that Chivalry-Now is not just
a code. It is a conscious, self-disciplined approach to leading
a full, moral life that expresses who we are.