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feature : word on ths street
May 17th, 2006
Word on the Street : The Golden Rule

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you…
“Do you think most people in America follow the Golden Rule? Do you follow the Golden Rule in your own life?”

Kari, 18
In America?
I would say no. We really don't. We don't want people bombing us but we will impose our way on them. We're like neo-imperialists. We have that world power mentality where we would say do unto others as we see fit. I would say others are more mindful than we are. Others don't have the luxury of being a world power. I think people in our society often want the top hand.

In your own life?
I try, but human nature does take over sometimes. I think it's important. I would rather have others treat me as I would hope to treat them. But sometimes I tend not to do so well with that. I think that [the Golden Rule] is almost common sense. I was raised Catholic, and I think in some ways the religions pushes you away but it does show you to treat others as you would want to be treated.
Steven, 24
In America?
Believe it or not I don't think we do. This country is divided by so many different ideas like race, ethnicity, religion. It's hard for people to actually come together I these different institutions and agree on a similar moral value. I think there may be people [in other parts of the world] who do a better job. The institutions and diversity are not in the way so much to be divided from each other. I don't think the U.S. is as moral as other countries.

In your own life?
Personally I try to follow it. Depending on the person. I think you can be selective about how you apply it to others. It depends on how they act. When you step back from time to time and see others who act morally, you can reach out to others who are good people. But when you see people who you don't want to be involved with, I think you can step away from them. I think I got a lot of my ideas about this from society. You can take a look at people you want to affiliate yourself with and get along with. But there are those who you don't want to get involved with because they're not up to par morally and with values that people should take into consideration.
Janice, 24
In America?
I think that loving others as yourself and seeing this in our country depends what section of the country you're from. Let's take New York. After 9/11 you saw everybody coming together. In other places [in the country] I've seen it more. Being a kid from the military I've seen it on base or more in the south and midwest. But not generally in [New York] since I've moved here. Compared to the rest of the world, I don't know. I'm in the middle on that. It depends on where you're from or what region.

In your own life?
I try to follow this in my life. I follow it because of my parents, the way I was raised. I was raised as Catholic and I definitely think that plays a part.
Kristen, 23
In America?
I think in general most people don't really follow it. It seems like in times of emergency or crisis are when people really treat their neighbors well and help them out. But, I think on a day–to-day basis most people don't. I really don't know if we're very different than the rest of the world I think it's probably pretty much the same everywhere.

In your own life?
I'd like to think I do. I can't think of any really big examples where I've gone out of my way to help my neighbor, but it's definitely something I believe in. I think it's probably a religious thing. I was influenced to believe this because I've been in Catholic school my whole life and spent a lot of time hearing about the Golden Rule.
Tatin, 22
In America?
Hell no. We don't follow it. After the whole Hurricane Katrina event. It's too easy to see that we don't follow it. I think that [Hurricane Katrina] showed people we don't follow it. I feel that compared to the rest of the world, well, corruption is everywhere. Take a look at Africa. You have tribal groups that are fighting among each other. With barriers like race and different ethnicities, I think the Golden Rule is not followed due to people being ignorant.

In your own life?
I try to. I'm not saying I don't sometimes want to kick people because they're being racist at times, but I try. I don't hate anyone. I'm very open-minded. You are who you are and I will love who you are. I try to follow it so that if people see me on the street they can say, "At least that person is living differently than the rest of the world." I don't believe in hating anybody. I think there's to much energy in it and it's just too ignorant. I think that my family, my mother and grandmother, instilled in me not to hate anybody. Just be yourself and love everybody. And a little bit of my religious background too, I must say. My family is Jehovah's Witness. They do preach love thy neighbor and try to treat everybody equally. So it was part of my upbringing and my God.
Sheri, 24
In America?
I don't think so. I think we're an individualistic society. And having that belief alone shows that people are out for themselves. [I think with America compared to the world] that we are much [worse] than other countries. Many countries are more collective and more concerned about others.

In your own life?
I try to follow it. I think because of the way I was raised. My morals and values. Because of religion and my parents.

Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
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