Ambassador Mussie Hailu is a founding member of URI who is currently serving as Global Envoy of URI, Regional Director of URI for Africa and Representative of URI at the African Union and UN office in Africa and Geneva. He is also the pioneer of the Golden Rule Day Amb. Mussie wrote the following piece in support of the 24-hour global Golden Rule Day webcast that will take place on April 5 to commemorate Golden Rule Day. Click here to learn more about how you can participate in the webcast!
For a culture of peace, inter-religious & inter-cultural harmony, respect among nations, human dignity and social justice to prevail on Earth, it is high time to promote the teaching of the Golden Rule, which says “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” throughout the world and introduce it in the school curriculum as part of education for peace.
In this interconnected world, all nations are our close neighbors and our wellbeing increasingly depends on how well we interact and live together based on the teaching of the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is the roadmap to build peaceful co-existence, social cohesion, harmony, human dignity and secure a better future for this generation and generation yet to come. Among the many reasons why we need to celebrate the Golden Rule Day and pay due attention for the teaching of the Golden Rule more than ever is because:
- It calls us to extend our concern beyond ourselves and to embrace a greater understanding and respect for others
- It is the pathway for peaceful co-existence, harmony and promoting human right, mutual respect, dignity, equality and compassion
- It is affirmed in many religions, traditions, indigenous cultures and secular philosophies as a fundamental principle of life and the foundation on which a global ethic is founded
- It is a universal message which is accepted and embraced throughout the world
- Its message is simple, universal and powerful
- It is the most prevalent and universal moral principle in human history
- It summarizes the basic teaching of compassion, non-violence, respect, and honoring the dignity of all living beings.
- It is the best guide we have to help peoples of the world to live together in mutual respect and harmony
- It is a way to disarm fear, to open the world for better change and to lay the foundations for lasting peace.
- It is a preventive mechanism and antidote to discrimination, disrespect, greedy, violence, crime, hate speech and incitement which leads to war and the violation of human right.
- It is the roadmap for inter-religious and inter-cultural harmony
- It can help to reverse the insane trends prevailing today in our world
- It is the best way to counter violent extremism and radicalization
- It transcends our differences and encourages us to consider the well-being of all humanity It helps to recognize pluralism and respect diversity.
It is with all this in mind that, in 2007, URI-Africa and Interfaith Peace-building Initiative (IPI) (a URI member organization based in Ethiopia) declared April 5 as a “Golden Rule Day” and called upon all citizens of the world, religious leaders of the world, Mayors of the world, heads of state of the world, the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States, interfaith organizations, schools, higher learning institutions, the business community, civil society and all other stake holders to join URI-Africa and IPI in proclaiming April 5 as Golden Rule Day and to live accordingly to make this world a better and peaceful for all. I am so happy to inform you that since then about 700 organizations in 140 countries joined us in proclaiming the Golden Rule Day.
In addition to this, in 2007 we also started the Golden Rule Goodwill Ambassador program to highlight and promote the Golden Rule. Every year we honor an individual or organization who set a good example for the teaching of the Golden Rule with Golden Rule Medal, Plague and appoint them as a Goodwill Ambassador of Golden Rule.
We need to acknowledge that peace is only possible in the world when each and every one of us start to make peace within ourselves, families and in our respective communities.
Each of us needs to commit ourselves as best as we can to become nonviolent and to make personal pledges to peace and to live according to the teaching of the Golden Rule. Let us be instruments of peace and a living example of the teaching of the Golden Rule. Let us walk the talk by taking practical action and live according to the principle of Golden Rule. May Peace, Golden Rule and Compassion Prevail in our Heart, Mind, Family, Community, Country and the World.
Join us on Thursday, April 5, for a 24-hour global virtual celebration of the Golden Rule co-sponsored by URI.
Over the course of 24 hours, people from many corners of the world will address “Why the Golden Rule Matters Now” as they share how people, organizations and governments can use this Common Principle to create a better world for everyone. Several URI members will be contributing programming, including three from the US, four from the Multiregion, one from Europe, and the URI Southern Africa region. Several URI leaders - Executive Director Rev. Victor Kazanjian, Founder Bishop Bill Swing, Global Council Chair Kiran Bali and Golden Rule Ambassador and Global Envoy for URI Mussie Hailu - will also be sharing as part of the Golden Rule Day webcast.
Click here to learn more about how you can participate in the webcast!