One of the world’s most renowned thinkers, Will Durant (1885-1981), spoke about the value of The Golden Rule in his final book, “Fallen Leaves: Last Words on Life, Love, War, and God.” A lifelong atheist, Durant and his wife Ariel were awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1968 for portions of their 11-volume anthology, “The Story of Civilization.” For a celebrated American writer, historian and philosopher to pronounce at the end of his life that indeed The Golden Rule of Jesus Christ represents the supreme wisdom as to how humans can live best, validates how valuable The Golden Rule is to mankind.
Durant spent 50 years writing “The Story of Civilization” as well as other important works including “The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time.” In his final book, “Fallen Leaves,” Durant shares the culmination of more than 66 years researching philosophies, religions, arts, sciences and civilizations of the world.
“IF I COULD HAVE ANOTHER LIFE, ENDOWED WITH MY PRESENT MIND AND MOOD, I WOULD NOT WRITE HISTORY OR PHILOSOPHY, BUT WOULD DEVOTE MYSELF TO ESTABLISHING AN ASSOCIATION OF MEN AND WOMEN FREE TO HAVE ANY TOLERANT THEOLOGY OR NO THEOLOGY AT ALL, BUT PLEDGED TO FOLLOW AS FAR AS POSSIBLE THE ETHICS OF CHRIST.”
“I WOULD RATHER CONTRIBUTE A MISCROSCOPIC MITE TO IMPROVING THE CONDUCT OF MEN AND STATESMEN THAN WRITE THE ONE HUNDRED BEST BOOKS.”
“THROUGH ALL THE ADVENTURES OF THE MIND, AMONG PHILOSPHIES AND CREEDS, THE FIGURE OF CHRIST REMAINS THE MOST APPEALING IN HISTORY. WE DO NOT NEED A NEW RELIGION SO MUCH AS A RETURN TO THE OLD ONE IN ITS ESSENTIALS AND ITS SIMPLICITY.”
“WE PICTURE A GREAT UNION OF CREEDS AND SECTS PREACHING THE ETHICS OF CHRIST, A CHURCH VIGOROUS WITH ITS NEW CONSOLIDATED STRENGTH, READY TO MEET THE COMPETITION OF BIZARRE CULTS AND NATIONALISTIC INFATUATIONS, A CHURCH GATHERING INTO ONE FELLOWSHIP, ALL THE RACIAL GROUPS IN AMERICA AND EUROPE, OFFERING A MORAL CODE THAT WOULD HELP MEN TO RAISE THEMSELVES OUT OF THE CORRUPTION AND VIOLENCE THAT THREATEN TO CONSUME OUR CIVILIZATION.”
“CIVILIZATION IS A FRAGILE BUNGALOW PRECARIOUSLY POISED ON A LIVE VOLCANO OF BARBARISM.”
“WHERE NOW IS THE RELIGION OR THE FAITH WHAT WILL ONCE AGAIN INSPIRE US AND GIVE A SOUL TO OUR CIVILIZATION?”
“I SHOULD LIKE EVERY RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION TO PREACH MORALITY RATHER THAN THEOLOGY AND WELCOME INTO ITS FELLOWSHIP EVERY PERSON WHO ACCEPTS THE GOLDEN RULE AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AS THE IDEAL TOWARD WHICH HE STRIVES TO GROW.”
The Golden Rule—truly the best way for us to live!