A simple rule eliminates need for lists of commandmentsA longtime Superior friend asked me the other day why in all of the years I’ve written this column that I haven’t mentioned him by name.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
A longtime Superior friend asked me the other day why in all of the years I’ve written this column that I haven’t mentioned him by name. I purposefully don’t use names. This column has engendered some hate mail, especially the one I write for the Duluth Tribune on their 30 day schedule. Hate mail, I receive, would be unbelievable by rational people. No signature and hate engendered comments, all over both sides of the envelope and right wing clippings inside. Easy to understand why such an individual would be ashamed to sign his/her name. The one thing that I have gathered from receiving these frequent reprehensible letters is that he/she hates Obama and me too, for speaking positively about Obama. My wife insisted I contact the police to see if something could be done. Their position is that if I’m not directly and personally threatened by this individual, they have no authority to respond. Recently one came with three pages inside printing signed Joe Biden.
A few days ago, another friend whose father was also a teacher, had found an article by Sydney J. Harris about religion in his deceased fathers’ files. Sydney Harris was one of my favorites and I read everything I could find that he had written. This friend asked why, in my long time period of writing for the Superior Telegram, that religion had never been the topic. So, I’ve decided to give this very private and personal topic slight treatment by a Sydney Harris protégé. I don’t profess to have great religious knowledge. Mine is primarily, what both you and I would refer to, as common sense. This might be a good time to throw this article aside, especially, if you have thoughts about religion that you do not wish disturbed.
I have sampled a number of religions and have not become a dyed in the wool believer in any one sect. I have found the Golden Rule to be the sum total of what I need. ”Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you.” That might not be the exact wording found in the Christian bible (Mathew) but the general statement is cited in over 20 of the world’s major religions in some form. I especially liked the Jesus advice to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick and visit those in prisons. Right now, one of our political parties should reconsider this one.
In my humble opinion, the Golden Rule says all that needs to be said. What possibly could be added, interpreted differently or altered? Can any religion justify their missionary efforts to convert different religious believers? If so, would they welcome other religions the same privilege? Could any nation in the world justify war to gain access to other nation’s natural resources or impose their form of government on the invaded country? Would you agree with me that the Golden Rule could eliminate the need for a lengthy list of commandments?
But let’s be practical: We have too many customs, institutions and paraphernalia to give that any serious thought. Another area of futility? I hope not!
In fitting conclusion, let me close with Superior’s own poet (laureate?), Bud Brand, who wrote of, “The Golden Rule’s”, end result too often these days:
Of wise old sayings
The most precious jewel
Is commonly known as
The Golden Rule
Which simply avows
“You should always do
Unto all others
As they do to you,”
But now a days
It’s a case of “Do
Unto all others
Before they do it to you.”
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at email@example.com.