The Golden Rule: Is Reciprocity Part of Human Nature?

Posted By : Aubrey Mead , on Dec, 2015

 

With Christmas fast approaching, it can become difficult to keep track of where morality fits into one’s life. Everywhere around us, acts of kindness are wrapped in total superficiality, disguised as humility but intended as acts of vanity. We trivialize meaningful expressions and feelings like love and joy for the sole purposes of greed and power, and human emotions are manipulated endlessly.

Individually, it seems almost impossible to break free and stay free from the bonds of trivial ethics. But individually, we all have the ability to show true compassion through the most simple and basic of all ethical rules – “do onto others as you would like done onto yourself”. The Golden Rule – that is, to treat others like you would want to be treated, isn’t an original thought in any culture. In fact, the more anthropologists read into it, it appears that reciprocity is an intrinsic part of human nature and has been found in one form or another in almost every single isolated culture of mankind.

We’re all compassionate creatures – the average human feels the need to protect the weak, and the average human calls for justice and peace over tyranny – we all, if possible, would love to be able to simply get along. But wishing for a better world isn’t what’s going to create a better world – if human nature is ascetic, then we have to make an example of ourselves by living the golden rule – by giving the world everything we have this Christmas, expecting nothing in return except for everyone’s efforts to do the same.

Even on a mathematical point of view, the ethics of reciprocity make sense. If we all focus our efforts on giving rather than collecting – whether it’s money, work, food, shelter, love or understanding – then everyone would have a substantial piece of something. By sharing and giving to people, we can all take part in the wonder of a healthy system.

You, too, can live reciprocity today by making the actions in your life more meaningful. Noble Mint is a company that believes in the meaning behind the gift, rather than simply the gift itself – and to symbolize that meaning, it’s offering customers the chance to buy and gift someone the gift of pure gold. Enjoy the true Christmas spirit this holiday by engaging in giving, instead of focusing on receiving.

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