The Golden Rule was evident today at East Valley High School. As I waited to meet with school’s principal for an impromptu meeting which I was eagerly anticipating. I spoke with the teacher at the front desk. This teacher has mentored students at this school for 7+ years. He spoke fondly of the environment and the way they celebrate students in an individual basis. A student walks up and I see this expression come to life in a sincere expression of appreciation for the students talents in music and on stage. The teacher verbally celebrated with him and the successes of last year as monumental life experiences. He gave him kind words that might help motivate him to pursue this talent beyond high school. These words of kindness, like rainbow confetti, go far beyond a moment. They accumulate over time and shape the minds of our youth. 1/22/20 KINDNESS
On the plane to New York a family of multiple children are making their way across the USA, infant to teen. In front of me I saw civility. One of the kids, probably 11 years of age starts to rapidly hit the seat in front of which was occupy by a woman probably in her 20’s. The child’s actions are obviously impacting the woman’s comfort. She rises above the sears headrest, turns to the child, shakes her head a mouths the word no. This was raw, this was real. The woman had right to the comforts of her chair and child was obliged to stop. No further interaction between the two for the remainder of the flight. The unspoken civil way of asserting your right without having to experience provocation from the child. The child was civil and stopped. 1/26/20 CIVILITY
Went to go pick up wood last night the man was giving it away free. I communicated with him the desire I have to create a planter box for my tiny backyard. I shared with him what I wanted to plant (medicinal herbs) and how excited I am about it. He received my ambition warmly and then said, “I have something you can have to line your planter.” He proceeded to give me a roll of weed blocker and noticed extra wood that would help me be able to create. He picked them up, walked them to my car. He shared that he and his wife had just made their own planter and he knew what it was like to create it. He gave me advice on how I can use a stapler gun to secure the liner and advised me, from his experience and mishap, the type of saw to use. This was Golden Rule empathy as this person I’ve never met, related to my situation and had the emotional stirring to offer extra items and advice. 1/23/20 EMPATHY
For the past 8 years I have been on a journey to develop a new character within myself, a complete 180. As an undergraduate at ASU, I became an intern with Arizona Interfaith Movement. This opened the door to aiding in the development of an non-profit educational program called AGREE.
AGREE stands for Arizona Golden Rule Educational Experiences. I had, up to that point, had no true connection with the Golden Rule and had no former awareness of AGREE. When I first met Sue Lynn Stiner, I had no idea how my life would change, for the better. She outlined the program up to that point and invited my input. So the story goes, I said “I can write a song for that,” in reference to the AGREE collection of fables.
This led to the following developments and successes:
- The writing, composing, and recording of 12 original songs, teaching the Golden Rule through cultural lenses, entitles “Stars Shine Brightly” (Itunes/Youtube).
- Traveling to the UN as a representative of AGREE, connecting the message of the Golden Rule with current leaders and organ supervisors.
- Receiving and acting in the current job title AGREE Program Developer, as we aim to further this program in schools all over the state of Arizona.
So how did the Golden Rule change me? In increments. In small, droplets of life giving messages as I developed the arts experiences and taught in classrooms. The Golden Rule is a simple statement that takes you for a loop when you really dive into it.
For example, think about the following Golden Rule teachings from AGREE experiences:
- Do you like it when others take the time to listen to you? Then create that same time for others to express too.
- Do you appreciate having time and space to develop your own ideas, judgement-free? Then begin to help others experience that same feeling, helping them develop their ideas.
- Do you want close friendships and meaningful connection? Find ways to create meaningful connections with others and explore how you can be a true friend.
It’s not about the way others choose to be, its about how you choose to be. Take responsibility for your own actions and from that stand point create the good you want to see all around you.
So, why do I write? Well, it occurred to me that there are good things happening all around me, everyday that I I’d like to pay attention to. Its easy to focus on the negative but powerful to search for the positive. So in the process of creating my own Golden Lens, I decided to keep a journal, a blog, that records those Golden moments I witness and honor the people who helped create them.
In conclusion, I hope to open more room for the positive, good things that are happening everyday and continue to develop this new Golden character within myself. I’M LEARNING EVERYDAY. GROWING EVERYDAY. SEEING MORE CLEARLY, EVERYDAY. PRACTICING THE GOLDEN RULE EVERYDAY.