When I was a small child, I would pull one of my father’s white T-shirts over my head just so my face was showing, the sleeves and my hair tucked inside to make it look like I was wearing an ecclesiastical wimple. I would tell my devout, Southern Baptist mother that I was going to be a nun when I grew up. I thought their outfits were cool.
Obviously, I did not enter the monastic life, something I’m sure was a relief to my mother. Considering how my God-fearing religious convictions morphed into something more akin to Buddhism dharma, my mom may have been more comfortable with a Sister for a daughter.
It would seem that going from a flowing white veil and black habit to a shaved head and saffron robes was quite the paradigm shift, when actually it wasn’t that much of a change. As I’ve grown older, I’ve found that the basic ideology of many world religions is very similar.
A key tenet – treating everyone like we want to be treated – is part of all the major world religions’ teachings.
I think we all just want to live our lives as the best people we can, while not disrespecting anyone else… or at least, I think, that’s how it should be. Too bad that many of those religions’ adherents don’t follow their own rule.
“Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not.” Bahá’u’lláh – Bahá’í Faith
“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.” Udanavarga 5:18 – Buddhism
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 – Christianity
“What you do not want to yourself, do not do to others.” Analects 15:23 – Confucianism
“One should always treat others as they themselves wish to be treated,” the Hitopadesa – Hinduism
“Do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourselves.” Abu Dawud – Islam
“That which is hateful unto thee do not to your neighbor. This is the whole of the Torah. The rest is commentary thereof; go and learn it.” Talmud, Shabbat 31a – Judaism