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Exploring the feelings behind the worldview theme--another project WORLDVIEW  theme song...

song for theme #16: The Golden Rule, Village Ethic of Mutual Help

“Honoring the Golden Rule” by Stephen P. Cook

to be sung to the tune of “The Ghost of Tom Joad” by Bruce Springsteen


Bin Laden1 loved the Qu’ran

Saw himself as a holy man

Somehow his faith got off track

To where there’s no going back


Those he recruited for nine eleven

Told ‘em martyrs go to heaven

What consequence has hate?

No peace, no good, no rest, grim fate


Hurt no one so none will hurt you

Mohammed2 said, don’t misconstrue

Didn’t you learn at madrassa3 school

‘Bout honoring the Golden Rule?


Torquemada4 a pious man

Was Christian zealot with a plan

To rid Spain of heresy

With deaf ear to many a plea


Somehow his faith got off track

Two thousand died on the rack


Tortured, sufferin’ great pain

Can this be good? Please explain!


Treat others as you’d want to be

Said Jesus with great empathy5

Didn’t you learn in Sunday School

‘Bout honoring the Golden Rule?


At a table you sit in a dream

Food beckons but you want to scream

Despite long spoons at each seat6

With arms splinted how can you eat?


You stare straight ahead for awhile

Soon you’ve a friend with a smile

You feed each other—a good deal

It becomes a heavenly meal!


But in a related nightmare

At an enemy face you stare

Vengeful, his mouth you won’t fill

You both end up starving in hell


1—Osama bin Laden (1957-2011), the founder of the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda

2— Mohammed (570-632), the great prophet and founder of Islam

3—The Arabic word for school, commonly referring to a fundamentalist Islamic religious school

4—Tomas de Torquemada (1420-1498), leader of the Spanish Inquisition

5— Empathy refers to “fellow feeling”: imagining you’re in the other person’s shoes—experiencing their feelings, struggles, etc.

6—Based on The Allegory of the Long Spoons, which distinguishes people who go to heaven and those who end up in hell. It tells

      the story of a meal eaten with long spoons by people whose arms are restrained so that they must co-operate with the person

      sitting across the table. Those in hell won’t and they starve!

Comment: this theme may have value as emotional armor. If you have a history of empathizing / helping others’, and faith in cosmic justice, you might reasonably expect others will similarly aid you when you need it. This expectation might lessen your fear of facing the future, and the related anxiety. Many assume extending compassion automatically follows from empathy—but not necessarily. Example: a mother might be feeling her injured daughter’s pain to such an extent that what her daughter gets is her anxiety, not compassion.

                        back to theme #16

the above song is part of The Worldview Theme Song Book: Exploring the Feelings Behind Worldviews--click here for more information

Musicians--We'd love it if you perform this song!  Please contact us!