There exists a principle called, by some, “The Golden Rule,” variations of which exist in virtually all cultures, religions and spiritual traditions. It states that by treating others as we would like to be treated, we promote greater peace and harmony – for ourselves and for others; that each of us benefit when we relate to others as though we are One.
Even before America’s founding the importance of such universal principles was recognized on this continent. Long before Europeans landed in America the Great Peacemaker advised, “The Great Creator from whom we all are descended sent me to establish the Great Peace among you. No longer shall you kill one another and nations shall cease warring upon each other. Such things are entirely evil and he, your Maker, forbids it. Peace and comfort are better than war and misery for a nation’s welfare.”
1796 President George Washington
postulated, “It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.”
In 1835 Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America wrote, “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.
When we cease to be a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence, we forget wherein lies the secret of our genius and power.
When we cease to be a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence, we lose our foothold on the good and cease to be great. We then seek to establish our greatness by less integrous means, often to the detriment of others, in ways that usually require force to obtain, maintain and contain.
Over the centuries our knowledge of the world has expanded. Our awareness of the diversity of creation has broadened. Our perception of time and space is changing. Our understanding of the connectedness of all life is growing.
The time has come for us to grow into a consciousness of the world as one.
In 1967 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best, “If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.
The time has come to recognize that “…all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.