Friday, June 5, 2009

The Golden Rule: Heart as Feather, is a Heart in Measure

Der Barmherzige Samariter(The Merciful Samaritan) 1632-1633Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 15 July 1606, Leiden – 4 October 1669, Amsterdam) was a Dutch painter, engraver and draftsman.

The Good Samaritan

"A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead with no clothes. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, and he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, he too passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and looked after him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' "Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

Ethic of reciprocity

Der gute Samariter (nach Delacroix)1890 Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890)

The ethic of reciprocity, also known as the Golden Rule, is an ethical code that states one has a right to just treatment, and a responsibility to ensure justice for others. Reciprocity is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights, though it has its critics.[1] A key element of the golden rule is that a person attempting to live by this rule treats all people, not just members of his or her in-group, with consideration.

The golden rule has its roots in a wide range of world cultures, and is a standard which different cultures use to resolve conflicts[2]; it was present in the philosophies of ancient India, Greece, and China. Principal philosophers and religious figures have stated it in different ways, but its most common English phrasing is attributed to Jesus of Nazareth in the Biblical book of Luke: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The "Do unto others" wording first appeared in English in a Catholic Catechism around 1567, but certainly in the reprint of 1583.

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