Do unto others as you would have done unto you

“Do unto others as you would have do unto you” asks everyone to treat those around them as they would like to be treated.

“Do unto others as you would have done unto you” is also known as the Golden Rule. It spans time and cultures, reaching back all the way to Ancient Egypt and into classrooms around the world today. There are a variety of different ways one might say the phrase, from the original with its antiquated language to the very common “treat others as you’d like to be treated.” 

Do unto others as you would have done unto you idiom

 

Meaning of “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”

“Do unto others as you would have done unto you” is fairly self-explanatory. It asks everyone to treat those around them as they would like to be treated. All who hear or say the phrase is seeking out equal and kind treatment for themselves and all other beings. In theory, some whose acting out or acting disrespectfully or cruelly would hear or read the phrase and be reminded that they aren’t the only ones with feelings.

 

When to Use “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”

The phrase “do unto others as you would have done unto you” should be used as a reminder for oneself, or for someone else, to always treat other people as you’d like to be treated. Sometimes, the phrase might be silently recited in one’s mind or pasted on a poster in a classroom. It is so commonly used because it applies to every person no matter who they are or where they’re from. Treating everyone equally and as you’d like to be treated has no exceptions or grey areas. 

 

Example Sentences With “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”

  • Don’t you remember the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you would have done unto you. 
  • Look, kids, you know what I’m going to say, do unto others as you would have done unto you. 

 

Why Do Writers Use “Do unto others as you would have done unto you?” 

The phrase is most often seen in moral, allegorical lessons written for young readers. While the line itself may not be present in a text, it might be the intended piece of information a child gains from a story. Since the line is so widespread throughout cultures and time, there are numerous possible ways in which it might be incorporated. Some of the best are those which date back to religious and moral texts written with the intent of defining what a good life is. 

 

Origins of “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”

Scholars believe that the phrase dates back to 551-479 BC. It can be found in a  wide variety of religious and non-religious texts in various languages and iterations. These include Buddhism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism, Christianity, and Islam. Broadly known as the “Golden Rule,” the phrase “do unto others as you would have done unto you” appears to be a ubiquitous belief around the world. 

The very first possible iteration of the phrase may be found in the story of “The Eloquent Peasant,” dating back to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, 2040-1650 BC. It read: 

Now this is the command: Do to the doer to make him do. 

Although not nearly identical to the version of the phrase that is popular today, these words do read similarly. Another version found later, in the Late Period, is much closer, although in the negative, to what is known today. It reads: 

That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another. 

Moving forward in time, the phrase is found in ancient Greek, Persian, and Roman philosophy in several different versions. 

In religious sources, the phrase is found in some versions of the Torah. It reads: 

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

In Matthew 7:12 of the New Testament of the Christian Bible, the line reads: 

Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets.

A version of the phrase can also be found in Islam. These lines are from the Hadith: 

As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them. 

As mentioned above, the phrase is found in many other sources, religious and secular, suggesting that there was never one true author and that cultures around the world came to the conclusion that this was the right way to live and treat one another. 

 

Related Idioms 

  • “Cut somebody some slack.” 
  • “Let someone off the hook.” 
  • Actions speak louder than words.” 
  • “Get a taste of your own medicine.” 
  • “Good things come to those who wait.” 
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