Following Love vs. The Golden Rule
[originally posted March 15 2020]
There are so many beliefs and religions that exist. Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Atheism, etc. etc. etc. all explain our world's phenomenons in different ways. However, one thing that I've noticed that ALL of these beliefs have in common is their faith in "the Golden Rule." The Golden Rule encourages people to treat others the way they wish to be treated. I've seen people from all mindsets believe in this rule. Following this rule doesn't make anyone a bad person. In fact, one's personal beliefs never define their moral compass.
Personally, I identify as a Christian, however, I am curious about other spiritual paths as well. I absolutely love Western astrology and am fascinated with how star and planetary alignments affect people's unique personalities and motives. I also love God and consider the fact that these alignments are His way of creating a beautiful universe with life. When it comes to fully respecting other religions and non-religious beliefs, we must always consider others' beliefs as valid. This can either help shape one's personal beliefs, or, it can strengthen the beliefs one already attains. Always know that you are not wrong, but neither are those who hold different beliefs.
There is only one thing in this universe that is absolute, selfless, strong, and everlasting. The Golden Rule could never compare in morality to love. The Golden Rule can be rooted in hate and destruction - people may treat others with the disrespect and hate they show themselves. This rule only works when it is founded on love. In this consideration, it isn't about "treating others as you wish to be treated" anymore. It's simply about treating others with love. Perhaps this is why deep, internal self-love is so important - it justifies the Golden Rule that so many people encourage.
When you follow a path of love, you aren't necessarily following any particular religion. Monotheistic religions can believe that God is Love, but even if you don't believe in God, you can still believe in love. Strong acts of love can sustain the passage of time. Clara Barton and Gandhi and so many others founded their legacies upon love. Their impact is still felt today. Within my family, I know love runs deep. My parents, especially my mom, didn't drive to countless pediatric therapist appointments and learn to understand my mental illness because they thought that I'd do the same for them one day. They did it because they loved me. And that love saved my life. I continue to give love to others because I know that love is infinite - to quote a favorite childhood movie, "we can always create more of it." Sometimes, I am motivated by my loving God to show love to others and sometimes I give love 'just because.' It has become a part of who I am; I always try to consider the more loving option in many situations. I'm not perfect and never will be, but I'm trying to become better and be better always.
Hate can withstand time, too. Racism, sexism, ableism, etc. all stem from hate. We can hate others for their political affiliations, their spiritual beliefs, their sexual orientations, and their physical differences and this hate will continue to perpetuate past its origin. Just like love trickles down from interaction to interaction (in person or online), hate does too. It's up to us what kind of impact we leave on this world. Receiving hate from others never justifies creating more hate - love doesn't need a justification to prevail. Always respond to hate with acts and words of love.
Love the world, love yourself, love others, and love the fact that you can do so despite what you believe in.
P.S. In this time where COVID19 is spreading, love others enough to not get them sick. Take care of yourself and others. If you've been in an area where you could've been exposed to the virus, please stay away from the immunodeficient and elderly especially. Also - to the guy who bought as much hand sanitizer as he could to profit monetarily off of others, I encourage you to donate it to people who need it the most.
[edited March 27 2021]