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The 147 suggestions attributed to the Seven Sages of Greece were published about the year 570 BC. That means about 550 years before Jesus gave his sermons. I have been rendering those sage suggestions into a slightly expanded modern English wording and calling them tips because that term doesn’t generate the negative reactions that God-given commandments tend to do. Even the term suggestions has a pejorative feel, so I have been using the term tips. Thus in the book Love Your Life, Sage tip #105 is currently rendered Protect your friend’s life as your own life.

When it is stated in that way the idea feels like Jesus’s Great Commandment spoken in King James Version of Matthew 22:37-40.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The Sages’ statement “Protect your friend’s life as your own life” (570 BC) is very similar to Jesus’ 27 AD saying, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” In both statements, the idea is to value and protect your friend’s wellbeing as carefully as you do your own wellbeing. 

That is a minimum concern we must have for our friends, and when we have the consciousness and the opportunity we should treat others better than we treat ourselves. This is a greater opportunity for personal growth than treating others the way you would wish to be treated. That weak form of the Universal Golden Rule doesn’t advance your spiritual growth; it only locks you into the level you have already reached. When you intend to treat others better than you treat yourself you must pay attention to their needs, and be aware of your needs too, and then intentionally sacrifice some part of your time, attention and other possessions to help that other person.

The reason for doing so personally expensive a thing is because that is the surest way to cultivate the habits of becoming a happier, healthier, wiser and wealthier person.

To protect your friend’s life as your own life teaches you how to protect your own life better.

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