The Christian tradition has its golden rule “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. According to Dave Andrews writing in Plan Be, it’s closely linked with Jesus calling us to ‘love our neighbours as we love ourselves’ and it’s also replicated by most of the world’s religions in their teachings.
In Taoism, there is a similar, but slightly different saying:
Regard your neighbour’s loss or gain as your own loss or gain (Tai Shang Kan Ying Pien)
As our home group encountered this chapter from Plan Be (blessed are the merciful) last night, I found myself particularly drawn to this saying from Taoism. Inherent in it is a challenge to the individualism rampant in our society, and infecting much of the practice of the Christian faith as well.
Here however, we are reminded that we are in this together. I’m not just to treat you in the way that I would like to be treated, but I’m actually to identify with you in your triumphs and disasters. We are community together you and I, bound up in relationship with God and with each other – and what impacts one, ought to impact the other.
What would it look like in your life, or your community if you regarded your neighbour’s loss or gain as your own?