Over 20 years
of Golden Rule moments in Arizona
Anne Taylor Special to Arizona Republic USA TODAY NETWORK
While many depressing events may be tugging at our hearts and overwhelming them, we can have hope that solutions are possible. Golden Rule Moments happen all the time and are powerful. We often don’t hear about them.
Over 20 years ago this life principle, the Golden Rule, prompted the formation of a group of people from many different faith traditions, the Arizona Interfaith Movement, then called the Interfaith Action Coalition, to come together and work for the common good in our community. They realized that the Golden Rule of ‘treating others as they would like to be treated’ was a foundational principle within all of their faiths.
They might have different words to express that principle, yet the meaning remained the same. Many religious and secular groups have used the Golden Rule as an ethical principle for conduct.
Here are a few examples:
Buddhism: ‘Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.’ — Udana-Varga 5:18
Christianity: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ — Luke 6:31
Confucianism: – ‘Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.’ — Analects 15:23
Islam: ‘No one of you is a believer until you desire for another that which you desire for yourself.’ — The Sunnah (from the Hadith)
Judaism: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ — Leviticus 19:18
Dine (Navajo) Nation: ‘Treat others as you would like to be treated.’
Since that time, some significant milestones have taken place:
May 13, 2003 — Arizona became a Golden Rule State by an AZ Legislative Resolution, signed by then Secretary of State, Jan Brewer. November 9, 2009 — Arizona obtained a state license plate that says, & quot;Live the Golden Rule& quot; so this & quot;traveling billboard& quot; could be a reminder of kindness and civility in the face of road rage.
Golden Rule Cities Apache Junction, Chandler, Flagstaff, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Mesa, Peoria, Scottsdale, Surprise, Tempe and Queen Creek have passed their own resolutions that encourage their citizens to live by the Golden Rule. Not only has a resolution occurred, but also a resolve by people in these cities to be more aware and have increased living of the Golden Rule.
It’s so encouraging that the Mayor’s Youth Council prompted Fountain Hills to become a Golden Rule City! In 2021, Mayor Ginny Dickey proclaimed April 6 as Golden Rule Day in the town of Fountain Hills and the leadership made a commitment to promote Kindness, Civility, Respect and Empathy. Further recognition came on May 2, 2023, when Executive Director Dr. Albert Celoza awarded Mayor Dickey with a certificate recognizing the town’s efforts and accomplishments in the past two years.
The Arizona Interfaith Movement has recognized and honored individuals and organizations that exemplify the Golden Rule at an annual Golden Rule Banquet. Their stories are now featured in a vignette, ‘Honorees’ Gallery at www.azifm.org. International Golden Rule Day is a United Nations — recognized day every April 5th. As a result, our Arizona Governor has proclaimed a Golden Rule Day in Arizona on that week for many years.
There’s a great song, ‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…’ Imagine, if everyone based their motives and actions on ‘treating others as they’d like to be treated’, the news would dramatically change for the better. So, have a Golden Rule Moment! May each one of us participate in living the Golden Rule more fully in our own lives and see its blessings ripple out to all mankind.