Or, in more contemporary language, “Do you like to be treated well and with respect? Then treat others well and with respect.”
Or, “Consider how you want others to treat you, and then you begin the cycle and treat others that way.”
Or, “Don’t do to others what you would hate someone else doing to you.”
Lots of ways to put it, all inviting us to look at how we relate to the rest of the world.
The essence of hypocrisy, the play-acting that most engage in and that most enrages observers, looks like this: “Others need to treat me well because I’m special, but I have no need to treat others well because they are not special.”
I think there is a trigger inside almost all humans that recognizes the wrongness of this stance. I can’t remember where I’ve seen this now, but know I’ve read studies that indicate even small children–and possibly even animals–can tell when this type of partiality is shown, when some are considered “special” and therefore not a part of the normal exchange of fair dealings.
We don’t like it when we see it.
All of us have to guard against it. We really do think the world really does revolve around ourselves. On Wednesday night as I was working with a bunch of youth and explaining what worship is about, I said this, “Worship serves as one short period each week when you stop long enough to realize that the world does NOT revolve around you and you take the time to acknowledge something greater than yourself.” It seemed to make sense to them.
As of today, a group of “special” people, i.e., certain members of the US House of Representatives, have decreed that 800,000 people will not be paid, that all national parks will be shut down, that the economy will suffer, and that their political opponents must cave before they will consider restoring those services.
Now, as far as I know, not a single one of them has also decreed that neither he/she nor his/her staff will suffer in any way. Of course not. They are “special.” They deserve to get their paychecks, even as the far more vulnerable will suffer. They’ll probably even take vacations to parks and resorts that will stay open, and not see their travel plans ruined by their actions. And, of course, they all have great health insurance.
No affordable care necessary for them. God forbid such open doors and care for those who are not “special.”
This is the essence of hypocrisy.
May God have mercy on their souls.