Sometimes you will see this principle written as ‘Honour Your Ancestors’, a reflection of the imporance placed upon not
just the ancestors but all of the elders within a family in the Japanese culture.
I learned this as ‘Be Kind to Others’ though, and that is how I recite it today.
So what does this mean? Does it mean I have to like every person I see? Well, actually, I don’t think so. There are plenty of people in this world I don’t like. And the majority of people in this world I don’t know and they have never heard of me.
The principle doesn’t say that I have to, or need to, or should like everyone. It says I should be kind to others. Politeness, manners, saying please and thank you. You can show courtesy and politeness to someone without having to like, or even respect them. And no, contrary to what you may have heard on the playground, this is not being two-faced.
Try it some time, and see how your day goes. Show kindness to everyone you meet. Whether through deed or word, or simply by saying ‘Hello’.
Now imagine what the world would be like if everyone did this for a day.
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