Brave New World (The Star)
10 July 2013
A law which can be used by me to silence my critics could one day be used by them to silence me.
"Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.”
“One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. All other activities are due to selfish desire.”
“Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”
“Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life? It is the word shu – reciprocity: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”
The four quotes above come from the Hadith, Bible, sayings of Confucius and the Mahabharata.
Not in that order of course, I leave you and your own ingenuity to uncover which quote comes from which source.
Different sayings, coming from different religious traditions from different parts of the world and attributed to different times in history; yet all are saying the very same thing.
And the reason I raise them is because amidst the thunderous arguments and vitriolic bombast of the last couple of weeks, I thought perhaps they might be useful.
Perhaps, if a person stopped to think for a moment, they might be able to see that just as I would feel it cruelly unjust if my spouse changed the faith of my child without my agreement, so would another person in my position.
Perhaps, if a person stopped to think for a moment, they might be able to see that a law which can be used by me to silence my critics could one day be used by them to silence me.
I don’t know if those with the power and influence are able to think like this.
Perhaps I am naïve to believe that there is still basic human decency and reason amongst them. But I could be wrong.