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What does 'Do unto others ...' really mean?

Submitted: 11/24/2008
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Question: I was doing my homework and came across this paragraph. It made me think of what I had spoken about with my sister who always stated, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' I told her I always disliked that saying, because it gives people the idea that they can do wrong. I told her that just meant to be good to people, because we don't know their situations etc. This is from my project management book/lecture and of course the Bible: 'Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you.' While there is a lot of wisdom embedded in this saying, there is one potential dangerous flaw. Others may not want what you want or need what you need. What is fair to you may not be perceived as fair by others. Empathy is needed to put yourself in their shoes to understand their specific desires and needs.' I just thought if project management is catching on to that then how much more should the saints of God. I could be wrong, and if I am, I am sure you will let me know. Mary

Answer: Your project management book has misinterpreted this beautiful teaching of Jesus (which is known as the Golden Rule). Jesus was telling us that since we always want what is best for ourselves, we should have the same concern for the well-being of others. The thought behind it is the same as when Jesus said, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' It is also the same thought as Paul's instruction in Philippians 2:4, 'Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.' We are surprised that you fell for this. You should know that the teachings of Jesus are perfect, regardless of how some management book might twist them.