Today I was thinking about what this really means. I am a Wiccan and, therefore, follow the Wiccan Rede. This can be summed up thusly, “Do what you will, and it harm none.” It sounds like the simplest thing in the world, but I’ve noticed that this can be harder to achieve than one might think.
I strive to live kindly. There are too many injustices in the world for me to live my life in a way that infringes upon the happiness of others. However, no one is perfect. I am not a saint, and have said and done a variety of things that have harmed others.
Harming none is something we must work towards, always. Once harm has been done, we must make amends. This is part of the growth we must experience as human beings, however painful it may be to admit that we have done wrong. Human experience should be characterized by constant growth, and harming none can most certainly facilitate that.
Now, aside from harming others, we must think of how we harm ourselves on a daily basis. There are any number of ways that one harms oneself: eating poorly, not getting enough exercise, being overly critical of our shortcomings, on down the line to actual physical harm done by self-mutilation and drug abuse. I mentioned that when we harm others, we must make amends. The same must be done when we harm ourselves. There is power in forgiveness, especially when we learn to forgive ourselves.
Harming none is a lot to live up to, but it is so important to strive for.