We overheard a conversation between Clay Hamlin and Gene Miller, the co-founders of CITRS.
Clay: “Hey Gene, how are you doing?”
Gene: “Personally, I’m ok. But I’m concerned with what’s happening in our country. There is uncertainty, racial tension, civil unrest, and emotions are running high. People don’t know where to turn.”
Clay: “Can we do anything to help?”
Gene: “I believe we can. But we need to get to the root cause of the problem. Respect is one of the most important character strengths, but yet it seems to be missing on so many levels today. Perhaps we can do something around respect. But it needs to be short, simple and impactful or it will just be another thing that gets lost.”
Clay: “That makes sense, Gene. I‘m thinking. I remember back when I was a teenager. I was self-centered, exhibited bad conduct and wasn’t very thoughtful to others. My mom sat me down and, in no uncertain terms, told me I had better change. I asked her how – what should I do? ”
Gene: “What did she say?”
Clay: “It was short and simple. She said that I just needed to follow the ‘Golden Rule’ – Always do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Looking back, those twelve words changed my life.’
Gene: “Come to think of it, the Golden Rule has been an invaluable standard in most societies going back over five thousand years. It is unique because it governs a person’s way of deciding how to act by first putting himself or herself in the other person’s shoes. In doing so, it promotes empathy and respect toward the other person as well.”
Clay: “Its beauty is that it says so much in only twelve words. It is easy for anyone to remember and to do. So much of our work in character development takes a longer time to absorb. But I remember as a teenager immediately understanding and putting into use the Golden Rule in my thoughts and actions every day. It has such a broad and everyday impact.”
Gene: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Can you imagine if the Golden Rule becomes the first thing a person thinks of before he or she decides what to do? If so, many of our character problems today would cease to exist. This alone would be a great gift to humanity.”
Clay: “Rich or poor, old or young, and for all ethnicities and races, the Golden Rule is universal and for everyone. It urges us to think before we act, and promotes treating others with respect, civility and empathy.
Gene: “OK. Let’s push it, starting today: The Golden Rule for Everyone!”