|Rather than a single Golden Rule Moment, this story is about a golden lady who lived the Golden Rule moment by moment.|
Tragically, on June 10, 2021, Courtney Lonergan and two of her three children were driving home in central Phoenix when a man driving a stolen vehicle, traveling over 90 miles an hour, ran a red light and smashed into them. Courtney, Ali and Almira were killed, devastating our community. They were survived by their youngest family member, Aracelli.
Each family member did a great job of exemplifying the Golden Rule. It would be great to know Courtney’s first Golden Rule Moment. Everything she did was predicated on the Golden Rule. She raised her children to understand that principle so they could apply it to their lives and help others live it too. Ali and Aracelli were recognized as Golden Rule Students on AZTV, Channel 7, for their Golden examples. Almira was too busy being a Golden athlete, so she hadn’t yet been recognized officially. Ali and Aracelli’s examples may be found at azGoldenRule.org. (Golden Rule kids: Nov., 2019, Jan., 2019)
How did a single mom who was heading up a long list of community-building efforts: master facilitator, ASU professor, diversity trainer, youth development mentor, a catalyst for change and a passionate supporter of humanity, the arts and human movements, instill such goodness, kindness and empathy in each of her children? Courtney was a good listener, a humble leader, and showed integrity and passion in her work. She was courageous, honest, hardworking and passionate about building peaceful solutions, and she worked hard to instill this in her children, their friends and in the community. Her communication skills brought in the Golden Rule, not by demeaning or shaming anyone during a difficult mediation, whether it was between stressed gang communities, corporations or opposing members in her Muslim faith. Rather, she helped them raise the bar for everyone so solutions could be realized.
Members of the Arizona Interfaith Movement regularly witnessed, with great affection, Courtney bringingthe children to our monthly meetings. First thing, each child went around the room and gave everyone a hug. Oh, how we would love to have those hugs again. We would have a meal together, then the children would sit in the middle of the room and do their homework or play a game, never making a sound. They lived so much love and respect. Their behavior was always Golden!
When Courtney talked about her life as a mother, she always mentioned how important it was for her that her children make a difference in the lives of other people ? and that started from birth. There are pictures of them facilitating a discussion when they were young. She taught them on the job.
What a legacy and an inspiration to all of us who knew and loved Courtney and her kids. May the spirit of the Golden Rule continue to be a guidepost for Courtney’s youngest child, as well as an inspiration to each of us to carry forward Courtney’s Golden torch.
The Rev. Larry Fultz is the executive director of the Arizona Interfaith Movement.
From left: Courtney, Almira and Ali.COURTESY OF AZSA SATORI
Golden Rule MomentsLarry Fultz Guest columnist
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