Sharing the good news
Digital Tools and the Golden Rule
by Felipe Zurita
Have you heard of the Golden Rule? Or better, do you remember what the golden rule is? Here’s a hint: “Treat others as you…” or “Do unto others as…” or “Do not do unto others…” I could go on and on about the different ways the golden rule has been written and how it has been known and passed on through generations by the sacred texts in most religions as well as in the secular world as a basic principle of moral human behavior.
Treat others as you want to be treated. What a simple yet powerful statement. It’s been around for millennia, in almost every civilization and almost every religion. I would dare say that the golden rule is the simplest expression of mindfulness, allowing us to understand ourselves and our surroundings and how we can all live in harmony. It’s more than just coexisting, but actually caring for each other. It empowers us to think of how we like to be treated and then go one step further and seriously consider how others would like to be treated; how the actions of those we may not see eye to eye with might derive from feelings of not being treated with the respect and dignity inherent to all living things. If we take it up one more notch, it gives us the opportunity to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and see the world through their eyes and experiences, finding value in other people’s wisdom.
The Golden Rule Project seeks to increase awareness and the practice of compassion, kindness, and peace by sharing the universal principle of the golden rule through education, programming, and partnerships. We are not religious, political, or associated with any agenda. We promote the golden rule as a basic human value.
Some of the oldest, most recognizable work around the golden rule has been in the shape of posters, formulations collection, magic assemblies for schools, and lately collecting stories and a 24- hour online transmission of the last International Golden Rule Day, which falls on April 5 every year.
Digital Technology and Opportunity
Technology has opened the doors for us, blurring the geographic lines that confine our work to our closest communities and make it now a worldwide effort. We established our internet presence using website-creating Squarespace. We have have seen fantastic things happen, all thanks to having an online presence!
Our pledges and petitions are now being seen and signed by people around the world instead of only people who were able to attend our local events. We have our own Pledge/Petition/Proclamation on our website. It asks people to (1) Strive and Incorporate the golden rule in their lives, (2) Invite and Request others to do the same, and (3) Stand in Unity with all those working toward a just and compassionate world. I invite you to sign it as well. This is easily shareable with friends via email or social media.
We have an extensive collection of formulations of ways the golden rule is said or expressed by different religions, secular leaders of the world, and inspiring people in history, available on our website, as well as free, easy to download learning tools including lesson plans, posters, and coloring cards.
We are now capable of selling blankets in our own online marketplace (more products coming out soon!), and sharing what we’ve been up to through blog posts and mailing campaigns. But most importantly, through our new website and upgraded social media presence we are making connections with those far away from us!
Working hard on having a better social media presence, especially with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is a must in these times. They are precious resources that provide a sneak peak of your work to your audience, drawing them to your site where they see your full capacity and potential. Photos, links, short videos, and previews are key to grabbing your audience’s attention, and tagging people in event photos increases the number of followers. As this number grows, you can count on your content being shared by the many that support your mission,.
At the Golden Rule Project, we have a fun program using AR (Augmented Reality) through a partnership with SEEK XR, an AR developing company in Utah. They were able to create an augmented reality room experience that allowed people to explore a secret garden with golden rule formulations in a peaceful environment and escape the craziness of the world. You can download the SEEK XR app from your app store.
Something to keep in mind is that now, more than ever before, people are accessing the internet and all its magic through smartphones more than desktops or laptops. So when thinking on things you want to put on your website, make sure it can be seen perfectly on a small phone screen. This also means that you should embrace the technology that smartphones have such as scanning QR codes, taking photos or videos, and partnerships with app developers.
Another favorite (and new) project – which is 100 percent dependent on technology – is our 24-hour online broadcast for International Golden Rule Day, which together with the Charter for Compassion and URI North America, launched this year on April 5. We had organizations and people from all over the world submit content and had live sessions with the topic of why the Golden Rule matters. Go here to watch the 2018 webcast.
It was incredible to see all these different organizations, artists, and people that promote peace and kindness around the world in their own context, connecting and sharing their culture, ideas, and stories. It’s empowering to be able to converse. Watching people from around the world is eye-opening. Often we are so submerged within our own culture that we forget about the rest of the world and how people in different places may not interpret things in the same way we do. But the Golden Rule Day broadcast shows how, regardless of our differing locations and cultures, we all desire to live in a peaceful and just world – a world built on the respect and compassion mandated by the golden rule.
We were able to reach thousands of people by using Facebook Live and Zoom. The ability to see and have meaningful conversations with others live through a screen is a true testament in our present times that no physical or geographical barriers can stop the work we are doing. We are in the planning stages for International Golden Rule Day 2019. Go here to learn how you can participate!
After reading about all these things we do, you may be wondering how you can join the movement. How can you bring more kindness to your own communities?
Here are a few of ideas:
Sign our online Pledge-Petition-Proclamation: commit to live by the golden rule www.goldenruleproject.org/pledgepetition
Volunteer! You don’t need to live in Salt Lake City, where the Golden Rule Project is based. We are beginning to create experiences that require little to no supervision, allowing you to spread kindness by just setting these up in public events like fairs or street festivals/markets. We are also teaching people how to do outreach for us in other parts of the world via Zoom meeting and tutorials available online!
Buy a blanket. For every blanket we sell we give one away to a disaster relief organization. These blankets not only are comfy and soft but also bring the message of the golden rule wherever you use them. You’ll be helping our organization become more sustainable and providing a sense of love and support to those in need.
Visit our website and check out our projects and blog entries. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram or Twitter. We are trying to have a bigger online presence, as we know the Internet has no geographical boundaries, and neither does the golden rule.
Donate! We will never say no to a donation. We have so many ideas that we want to execute, but we need more funding to do so.
We hope our organization and work give you hope knowing there are others around the world working to spread kindness. We can make an impact only if we act! We’ve seen the power that technology has, and how it’s eliminating boundaries for our mission to be fulfilled. So join the movement, apply our resources, and let peace reign all around us!
Header Photo: Kristi Howson, C.c. 2.0 nc nd