Hofstra University Honors College's Blog

Universal

Imagine if you will, nine college students sat in a room together. They all look very different from each other. They’re all studying different things for different reasons. They all come from different backgrounds and all have different faiths. Then, these nine students are asked to come up with a list of commandments. A list of things that they all agreed were universally true of how people ought to live. This is exactly the task posed at the “Gay and Spiritual” meeting last night. The members of the group were gay, straight, bi, Catholic, Wiccan, agnostic, and beyond. There were no two people who I could say were the same. I’d even hesitate to say that any two people were similar. As one can imagine, writing commandments wasn’t as easy a task as it sounds.

Everyone had different ideas about right and wrong and how vague or specific the commandments should be. There was debate over whether or not we had the right to tell anyone how to live on a personal level or if we could only say how people should interact with others. Words had to be chosen carefully and concepts chosen had to be something that everyone agreed on. The commandments weren’t chosen by majority, they were chosen by consensus.

I would not have been surprised if the group only came up with one or two things that we all agreed on. In the end, we came up with a list of six commandments that all nine of us agreed are a good set of general rules for life.

The Six Commandments 

1. Be Compassionate towards others

2. Don’t hurt other people against their will

3. Do what is right for you (While still following the other Commandments)

4. Respect what is right for you may not be right for others

5. Do not forget the value of everyone

6. Everyone has a chance of forgiveness and redemption

These didn’t come from one person or a majority vote. These six commandments were created and agreed upon by every person in our widely diverse group. It was truly an experience that I’m sure we’ll all remember. A lot of people think that different cultures and faiths will never be able to come together; that people are too different to unite. This group proved that theory wrong. People may argue that this was a small scale experiment and that such harmony could never happen on the large scale. In the words of my dear friend Ken, “We don’t know that.”

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