At lunch a few days ago, with some professors, I asked a Jewish colleague about what the Torah or Talmud teaches about how we treat others.
(This was, of course, in the midst of a discussion about politics and our current American meanness toward those who are less privileged.)
He replied with the words of Hillel the Elder (1st century B.C.E.): “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”
I love this inversion of what we call the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The reverse is just as powerful: if you find hateful (or even hurtful) something that is done to you, then don’t do it to others.
And then there is Maya Angelou: “You do what you can do, until you know better”.