Life is an echo.  What we send out, we get  back. It is in loving that we are being loved; it is in sharing that we receive. When we bring out the best in others, we bring out the best in us. 

When we think of our relationship with others, the Golden Rule comes to mind: "Do unto others what you would have others do unto you. The great Chinese  thinker and philosopher, Confucius often lectured to his students on the theme of "benevolence", preaching the importance of loving others. It is in knowing the principle of the echo that we can fully understand the meaning of the Golden Rule.  Let's learn from the story that follows.

As the story goes, a man and his son are walking in the forest. Suddenly, the boy trips and feeling a sharp pain, he screams, "Ahhhhh!"  Surprised, he hears a voice coming from the mountain, "Ahhhhh!"

Filled with curiosity, he screams, "Who are you? but the only answer he receives is, "Who are you?" This makes him angry, so he screams, "You are a coward! and the voice answeers, "You are a coward!"

He looks at his father, asking, "Dad, what is going on?" "Son," the man replies, "pay attention!"  Then he screams, "I admire you!"  The voice answers, "I admire you!" The father shouts, "You are wonderful!"  and the voice answers, "You are wonderful!" The boy is surprised, but still can't understand what is going on.  

Then the father explains, "People call this 'ECHO', but truly, it is 'LIFE'!  Life always gives us back what we give out! Life is a mirror of our actions. If  we want more love, we give more love! If  we want more kindness, we give more kindness!  If we want understanding and respect, we give understanding and respect! If we want people to be patient and respectful to us, we give patience and respect! This rule of nature applies to every aspect of our lives." Life always gives us back what we give out. Our life is not a coincidence, but a mirror of our own doings.


The Golden Rule or the ethic of reciprocity is found in the scriptures of nearly every religion. It is often regarded as the most concise and general principle of ethics. It is a condensation in one principle of all longer lists of ordinances. The Golden Rule is present in hundreds of cultures. Some of them are listed below. This rule does not included revenge. That would be treating 'others' somewhat less noble.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Judaism and Christinaity, Bible, Leviticus 19.18 

Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
Christianity. Bible, Matthew 7.12 

Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
Islam, Forty Hadotj pf an-Nawawe 13 

A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.
Jainism. Sutrakritanga 1.11.33 

Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.
Confucianism. Mencius VILA.4

One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. All other activities are due to selfish desire.
Hinduism. Mahabharata, Anusasana Parve 113.8

Tsekung asked, "Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?" Confucius replied, "It is the word shu-reciprocity: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you."
Confucianism. Analects 15.23

"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets." Christianity. Bible, Matthew 22.36-40 

Comparing oneself to others in such terms as "Just as I am so are they, just as they are so am I,"  he should neither kill nor cause others to kill.
Buddhism. Sutta Nipata 705

One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts.
African Traditional Religious. Yoruba Proverb (Nigeria)

One who you think should be hit is none else but you. One who you think should be governed is none else but you. One who you think should be tortured is none else but you. One who you think should be enslaved is none else but you. One who you think should be killed is none else but you. A sage is ingenuous and leads his life after comprehending the parity of the killed and the killer. Therefore, neither does he cause violence to others nor does he make others do so.
Jainism. Acarangasutra 5.101-2

The Ariyan disciple thus reflects, Here am I, fond of my life, not wanting to die, fond of pleasure and averse from pain. Suppose someone should rob me of my life... it would not be a thing pleasing and delightful to me. If I, in my turn, should rob of his life one fond of his life, not wanting to die, one fond of pleasure and averse from pain, it would not be a thing pleasing or delightful to him. For a state that is not pleasant or delightful to me must also be to him also; and a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another? As a result of such reflection he himself abstains from taking the life of creatures and he encourages others so to abstain, and speaks in praise of so abstaining.
Buddhism. Samyutta Nikaya v. 353

A certain heathen came to Shammai and said to him, "Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Thereupon he repulsed him with the rod which was in his hand. When he went to Hillel, he said to him, "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; all the rest of it is commentary; go and learn."
Judaism. Talmud, Shabbat 2la

"That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself."  Zoroaster(563-483 BC)

"Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful."  Buddha(563-483 BC)

"Is there one maxim which ought to be acted upon throughout one's whole life? Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you." Confucius(551-479 BC)

"What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; all the rest of it is commentary"  Hillel (70 BC-10 AD)

 "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12) Jesus(6 BC-29 AD)

"This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain." The Mahabharata

By Tim Pedrosa


 The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt. ~Frederick Buechner~