We often hear about “The Golden Rule” of Jesus, but have you heard of The Platinum Rule? The Golden Rule says “we should do unto others as we would want done unto us.” But some scholars are wondering if that was authentic. They question the accuracy of this verse on multiple merits, but even just logical thinkers can see the moral limitations in the golden version of the rule, and are questioning whether an even higher standard was actually set?
Before Jesus ever came on to the scene, there were similar rules in other ancient cultures. Confucius, who lived around 500 BC said “never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” We’ve also found ancient Egyptian papyrus from around 400 BC that says “that which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another.” We often think of those versions as “The Silver Rule.”
We know that Silver is less valuable than Gold, and Platinum is more valuable than Gold. Therefore, perhaps we should be trying to promote a Platinum Rule?
If the Silver Rule simply says “don’t do what you wouldn’t want done to you.”
And the Golden Rule says “do what you would want done to you.”
What could be better?
The flaw in the Golden Rule is that some people don’t even treat themselves all that well. Or their standards for life are low and they don’t necessarily have a good grasp on how much better they could aspire to experience. So why would we want to promote a rule which sets the bar for how someone should treat you based on their own potentially low standards?
That’s where the Platinum Rule comes in. It states that “we should treat others as they wish to be treated.” Or if we don’t know how they wish to be treated, we treat them in a way that is full of love and compassion with the highest dignity and intent for peace and harmony.
Most certainly the life of Jesus is full of the Platinum Rule. His own rule was quite simple. He said, “love others as I have loved you.” If we look at how he loved others we see a high standard of dignity and compassion. He just didn’t love by his own standards, but by the standards of an all loving and compassionate source.
Shall Jesists raise the bar as well and go platinum?