Appendix 5     Visual impressions of the Golden Rule Poster

Here follows some comments made by various people about the design of the Golden Rule Poster. These comments may be useful to teachers in terms of helping the students to discover the symbolic and visual significance of the poster:

“I find the poster to be very powerful – but it’s not an overwhelming or imposed type of power. That’s because the colors on the poster are soft and pastel. For me, these soft colors represent the gentle and compassionate treatment that the peoples of the world should demonstrate to one another.”

“When I first saw the poster, I stopped in my tracks. I was amazed at how quickly it touched me. The message of this poster is incredibly powerful in its simplicity. The poster manages to unite every corner of the planet with one essential statement.”

“The poster has lots of circles. Not only that…on the poster there is a circle of circles. The circle is a universal symbol.”

“For me, the lines on the poster say a lot. I see the lines that go out from the globe at the center as rays of light that go out from the world, to the entire universe, connecting the earth to the universe. Conversely, I can look at these lines as rays of light that come from the outside – warming and connecting all members of the global community. I see the longitude and latitude lines on the globe as performing the role of connecting countries to other countries, and to other continents in a single global community, that of necessity needs to cooperate with international rules, e.g. the Geneva Conventions, the International Criminal Court, resolutions of the United Nations.”

“At the centre of the poster, there resides a circle, the Earth. On this circle, the words, “The Golden Rule”, are superimposed. What a message about the global human family!”

“Each of the 13 symbols of the world’s religions is encased in a circle. And together the 13 symbols form a circle of circles. Note also that many of the various symbols representing the 13 spiritual traditions contain circles, semi-circles or partial circles. In fact, some of the symbols are themselves circles.”

“The first time I saw the poster, it caught me out of the corner of my eye. Then I went and looked at it and was transfixed by it. I stood there looking at it for several minutes. My feeling is that the poster pulls you in gently, and then it pitches something back to you. And what it pitches back to you is our unity, our oneness… the fact that we are all one.”

Note to teacher:

Something to keep in mind: the poster does not, of course, contain Golden Rule statements from all the world’s cultural, philosophical, spiritual, and indigenous traditions. This is a physical impossibility, given the thousands of such traditions that exist. But the poster does have an inclusive quality in a symbolic way. The poster is a symbol, in that it points the viewer to something bigger than itself, something beyond itself. The poster points the viewer to a more inclusive vision of things, and thus has the capacity to create a consciousness in the viewer that is broader, more pluralistic, more open and more global.

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