shì rén rú jǐ 视人如己
Treat Others the Way You Treat Yourself
Since ancient times in China, every school of thought has regarded love a core value. They all maintain that people must have general goodwill or sympathy for others, whether they know each other well or not, rich or poor. This is not only an important principle for handling interpersonal relations; it can also extend to become an international principle of opposing violence and raw power. Like the Confucian principle of putting oneself in another person’s position, the principle of treating others the way you treat yourself champions benevolence, equality, and tolerance.
People with a heart of love treat others the way they do themselves, and treat those who are only distantly related the same way they do those who have close ties with them. (Ge Hong: Baopuzi)
When an enemy country is in national mourning or suffering from famine or plague, we should not attack it; we should love its people the same way we love our own people. (Imperial Reader for Emperor Taizong of the Song)
One should be sympathetic to those who are in misfortune, share the happiness of others, help others out of difficulty, and rescue those who are in distress. One should consider the gains and losses of others to be one’s own. (Li Changling: Taishanglaojun on Retribution for Good and Evil)