Echoes of the Golden Rule

Thursday, November 5, 2009 - 4:10 am

Echoes of the Golden Rule

I get a charge out of noticing subtle connections between the many different conversations we bring to the airwaves and webwaves each week. This happened recently as I was prepping two upcoming programs: one with author and scholar Karen Armstrong, the other featuring developmental cognitive neuroscientist Adele Diamond. Hear both above.

Both Armstrong and Diamond discuss Rabbi Hillel and The Golden Rule in their conversations with Krista, but they come at this story from slightly different directions. For Armstrong who grew up Catholic and once lived as a nun, Hillel’s words opened up new doors of thought about compassionate action as an expression of religious faith.
Adele Diamond — who was raised in a religious Jewish home and says that Judaism is an important part of her identity — has a different take on the Hillel story. As Diamond sees it, Hillel’s injunction to “do no harm” doesn’t go far enough. She’s inspired by Jesus’ words from the Gospel of Luke: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
While Armstrong and Diamond have different reactions to the same story, both seem to draw kindred inspiration about the importance of living and acting with compassion.

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