Let’s live by the Golden Rule

By Herb Dettmer - Contributing columnist

Drugs, fraud, robberies, killings and offensive behavior are all bad things plaguing our society. And they have been for decades, if not longer.

Law enforcement, local and national legislatures, special interest groups, schools and others have been working to prevent crime, but crime still persists. Nothing seems to work. Crime rates go down, then go back up, fluctuating depending on numerous factors.

Everyone is wanting crime to stop, except of course, the criminals. Is crime just a fact of life and we need to just deal with it? Lawyers spend considerable time and effort to defend criminals, trying to get innocent verdicts or at least reduced punishments.

With mass shootings, bombings, sexual harassment and assaults, apparently the norm, why isn’t there a movement to find out why these are so prevalent? We study everything else to find a reason, why not study behavior to learn why we have so much violence? Are we afraid of the answer? With all the divisiveness, differences of opinion, and demands made by so many groups, why can’t we find an answer?

This is the United States of America, with the key word united.

We are not united. We are more divided and concerned with not being offensive and insensitive. Maybe, just maybe, we should be more concerned with respecting our differences, and not being so critical of others beliefs and traditions. Respect is often demanded, but rarely given. Respect must be earned, and mutual.

One thought that might help eliminate or at least reduce crime is promoting the Golden Rule. Most major religions have a form of this, which states to treat others as we would like to be treated.

Hinduism – “This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.”(Mahabharata 5:1517)

Judaism – “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love thy neighbor thy thyself.” (Leviticus 19:18)

Christianity – “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. “(Matthew 7:12)

Buddhism – “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” (Udanavarga 5:18)

Islamism – “None of you has faith until he loves his brother or his neighbor what he loves for himself.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 72)

But in order to not offend anyone, we have pulled God and prayer out of our schools — really, all public places — and criticize any reference to anything spiritual. Even a lot of our churches have concentrated on “social justice,” leaving the God and morality on the back burner.

Teaching the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, is less important than being “politically correct.” And crime continues to plague our society.

We have the freedom of religion, to believe and to practice our faith as we choose. Then why is there so much anti-religious thought? We don’t want to offend any non-believer, but in doing so we offend believers.

And crime continues to plague our society. Promoting the practice of the Golden Rule would make our country more loving with less hate.

As we struggle with crime and violence, and not wanting to offend anyone, why not start promoting the practice of the Golden Rule? It is universal. Who would be offended if we did this? Think of the possibilities.

Herb Dettmer is a retired Bowling Green resident, U.S. Army veteran and writes this column representing the viewpoint of “Joe Average” citizen. He is freelance writer and author of “Others,” a devotional book. Call or text “Joe” with comments at 419-494-4641.

By Herb Dettmer

Contributing columnist