Golden Rule in Arizona, Golden Rule Moments column
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 principal, yet the meaning remained the same. Many secular groups 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.” ~ Jesus: The Bible, 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.” ~ Muhammad, The Sunnah (from the Hadith)
- Judaism – “Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Leviticus 19:18
- Native American – “Respect for all life is the foundation.” ~ The Great Law of Peace
Since that time, some significant things 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, “Live the Golden Rule” so this “traveling billboard” could be a reminder of kindness and civility in the face of road rage.
- Golden Rule Cities, Flagstaff, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Surprise, and Queen Creek, have passed their own resolutions that encourage their citizens to live by the Golden Rule. Not only has a resolution has occurred, but also a resolve by people in these cities to be more aware and have increased living of the Golden Rule. A recent example was a child riding his bike, who was stopped by a police officer; he was obeying the traffic rules so well, he got a coupon for a free ice cream from the officer.
- The Arizona Interfaith Movement has recognized and honored individuals and organizations that exemplify the Golden Rule at an annual Golden Rule Banquet the past 13 years. Their stories are now featured in a vignette, “Honorees” Gallery at azifm.org.
- AZ TV7 began recognizing Golden Rule Students of the Month last year. These students are on fire with treating their peers with kindness and empathy in beautiful ways. Their stories are featured on AZTV’s website, https://www.aztv.com/az-daily-mix/golden-rule-student-of-the-month . Students may be nominated at azGoldenRule.org, a site that provides resources for schools, Arizona Golden Rule Educational Experiences, ( AGREE).
- International Golden Rule Day is a United Nations–recognized day every April 5th. For years, our Arizona Governor has proclaimed a Golden Rule Day in Arizona on the same day or that week, in conjunction with the Golden Rule Banquet. This year, Golden Rule highlights in Arizona were featured in a live streaming event that went the entire day constantly, all around the world. This may be seen at https://www.goldenruleday.org/ (watch tab, Arizona)
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 of us participate in living the Golden Rule more fully in our own lives and see its blessings ripple out to all mankind.
By Anne Taylor, Business Manager, Arizona Interfaith Movement
Published and copyrighted 2018 by Arizona Republic