A Heathen's Path, About Me, Asatru, golden rule, havamal, Heathen, Heathenism, like unto like, Norse, Odin, Pagan, Paganism, sayings of the high one, vikings
We’re all familiar with the Golden rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Nice, simple, not so easy.
Doesn’t really work that well.
See, the problem with that is you have to be the good person, pretty much all the time, if you want people to be good to you. Problem is, in life, people tend to not be so good. Especually to people who follow said golden rule. They’ll use them, relying on the goodness of said person, but often enough can’t always be counted on to be good in turn.
I work in the “hospitality” industry. At least I think that’s what they call it. Basically, an industry focused on being Hospitable. Of course, we’ve really forgotten what Hospitality is these days. Used to be hospitality was a two way street. One person had to be a good host, and the other had to be a good guest. These days, however, it seems there’s an over emphasis on being a “Good Host” which tends to run along the lines of kissing asses and bending over whenever a guest wants, and the guest can pretty much be as big an asshole as they want and it’s not a problem (as long as they pay on time and don’t break anything). I know, because where I work people can stay for months, even years. They can be complete assholes to everyone who complain about every tiny little thing, and they still get to stay. And if they don’t get what they want, they will raise unholy hell about it till someone (occasionally innocent) get’s into a heap of trouble.
Which is partially why I have my own “Golden Rule.” Like unto Like.
It’s a Heathen thing, found literally in the Havamal, or “Sayings of the High One.” It’s a bit of Heathen wisdom handed down from Odin. The basic concept is exactly what it says on the tin: Like for like. Treat others as they have treated you. Return goodness with good, and evil with evil.
Of course, a lot of people don’t really like this stance. Which makes sense. It means that if you’re an asshole, well, you get the same treatment back. This, of course, can lead to a lot of confrontation. And that’s terrible. Or so they say. Of course, the people who say that are often the ones who want their plans to go off with the help of everyone giving everything said people want, and they don’t want to hear jack in protest. So your mileage may vary on the nobility of their argument.
Still, it could have the effect of making the world a better place. It gives people a good reason to be nice, because if they are not nice, suddenly there is a consequence. There is no “turn the other cheek.”
There’s just “Deck you in the schnoz.”
Robin Helweg-Larsen said:
The Wikipedia entry on The Golden Rule deals with the various aspects of reciprocity: an eye for an eye is one end of the continuum. Personally I prefer the version of the Golden Rule that says “Do not do unto others what you would not have others do unto you.” It allows more freedom of action (or inaction).
Confucius shows up in both aspects:
“Zi Gong asked, saying, “Is there one word that may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?” The Master said, “Is not RECIPROCITY such a word?” – Confucius
“Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” – Confucius
Lucius Svartwulf said:
I actually heard about the “Do not do unto others…” version of the rule, which is part of the reason I was inspired to write this post. I had not heard of the Confucius sayings, though. They were pretty cool, thanks for sharing. 🙂
Yeah, I don’t believe in the “Golden Rule”. Fact is, most people these days aren’t trustworthy enough to be able to use that rule. People will stab you in the back most of the time for their own gain. I believe in self preservation above everything else. I’ll protect myself before I will put myself forth for abuse. This is why I don’t work in the “hospitality industry” anymore, and also why I left geriatrics in nursing. It’s sick to see just how much that “Golden Rule” doesn’t count for many of the nurses and CNAs caring for our elderly.
Lucius Svartwulf said:
Yeah, I don’t know if the GR ever worked, but it does seem to have fallen flat in these last several years, doesn’t it?
No one uses it, now. I think they realized what a sham it was, personally. lol
I guess I’d start of with the GR, or just simple kindness and respect up to the point at which somebody proves themselves to be unworthy of such consideration. After that, your “Like for Like” rule works for me!