The three “F”s of any society are most important. I’m talking about family, friends, and fellowship. Never did it become more apparent in my own life than a few weeks ago. Excuse me for taking a chapter out of my own life but I just can’t help telling the world about the great day my family and friends gave me on my 80th birthday.
While it wasn’t exactly a surprise, after all I knew I was turning 80, but the amazing group of over 100 friends and family that turned out and the fellowship that ensued was, well, a truly Golden Rule Moment for me.
Friends from Tucson came up to help me celebrate. My brother and his wife came from California. My 97-year-old neighbor stopped by to get in on the fun, surprised me with a bottle of ‘Old Spice’ aftershave. Hey, that was the ‘Clive Christian’ in our day. People whom I hadn’t seen for years blessed me that day with cards, good wishes and sometimes some special gifts. One gift was caramel popcorn a dear friend makes every Christmas and gives to family and friends. It is the best caramel popcorn I have ever eaten. To think that someone would take the time to go to all that bother just for me was truly a great birthday gift.
One man gave me a very old rare book that is priceless which showed me the depths of friendship that can never be bought. Another gave me a Peace Award that I shall always cherish. Another gave me a jar of homemade blackberry jam because she knows how much I love it. Some gave money, some hugs and others gave best wishes. I loved the great food my wife so beautifully prepared for this event. Good food always makes these celebrations better. Of course, there were those war stories that each friend just had to tell. It seemed each one simply couldn’t contain themselves and had to outdo the other to my total embarrassment.
But it wasn’t all these loving gestures that made that day Golden for me. It was the fact that people took time out of their busy schedule to stop by to say Happy Birthday. That was my Golden Rule Moment!
All of that brings me to the sense of how easy it is to bring Golden Rule Moments to someone. We all hear great stories of heroics in saving a life, or helping a perfect stranger with money, a car or even a house. Those are all wonderful stories and we love to hear about them but what about the thousands of people who have no friends and even worse, no family. Never is it more glaringly apparent than during the holiday season.
That’s where you and I can play a very important role in these coming holidays. Instead of turning into ourselves I challenge you to reach out to someone who needs a friend. Invite them to be with your family for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Give them a Golden Rule Moment in their lives.
Sometimes we become so busy with our lives that those people can be standing right next to us or living across the street from us or sitting in the seat beside us and we never notice them. Please join me in making a Golden Rule Moment for someone this Holiday season. Not only will you bless their life but my, how it blesses you in return.
That’s what the Arizona Interfaith Movement is all about. We want to share the message of the Golden Rule by living it out every day in our lives.
Rev. Larry Fultz is the Executive Director of the Arizona Interfaith Movement.
Golden Rule Moments
Larry Fultz Guest columnist