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Be Fruitful
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July is a month that is often set aside for enjoying the great outdoors—when we are not experiencing heatwaves, wildfires, floods, or tornadoes. It is also a time when so many wonderful fruits and flowers are in season. Friends and families gather at reunions and celebrations with this bounty as a centerpiece. These events highlight the love we have for each other. These events also offer us the opportunity to appreciate all the life forms that make up our increasingly fragile ecosystem, of which we are a part. Many faith traditions urge us to have unconditional love for our neighbors—especially strangers and those living on the margins. So, why is it so hard for us humans to do this? Out of curiosity, I decided to look up the many ways we are urged to show compassion and caring for each other and our environment. May you be inspired by these words of wisdom.   

 

Baha’ì: “Blessed is who prefers his brother to himself” (Bahà’u’llàh tablets – 19th century).


Buddhism: “Whatever is disagreeable to yourself, do not do unto others” (The Buddha, Udana-Varga 5.18 – 6th century BC).


Confucianism: “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you” (Confucius, Analects 15.23 – 5th century BC).


Christianity: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Gospel of Matthew 22, 36-40 – 1st century CE).


Judaism: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow-man. This is the entire Law, all the rest is commentary” (Talmud, Shabbat 3id – 16th century BC). “Never do to anyone else anything that you would not want someone to do to you” (Tobias 4, 15 – 3rd century BC).

Jainism: “In happiness and sorrow, in joy and in pain, we should consider every creature as we consider ourselves” (Mahavira, 24th Tirthankara – 6th century BC). 

Hinduism: “This is the sum of duty. Do not unto others that which would cause you pain if done to you” (Mahabharata 5, 1517 – 15th century BC).


Islam: “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself” (Hadith 13, The Forty Hadith of Imam Nawawi – 7th century).


Native Americans: “Respect for every form of life is the foundation” (The Big Law of Peace–  16th century).

Shintoism: “Be charitable to all beings, love is the representation of God” (approximately 500 CE: Ko-ji-ki Hachiman Kasuga – 8th century BC).

Sikhism: “I am a stranger to no one, and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all” (Guru Granth Sahib, religious scripture of Sikhism, p. 1299 – 15th century).

Yoruba Proverb: “If one returns evil for evil, one joins the ranks of the evil.”

Zoroastrianism: “Do not do to others what is harmful for yourself” (Shayast-na-Shayast 13, 29 – between 18 and 15 century BC).

 

Wishing you all a joyous July, filled with love and compassion!

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