3.6   One family, one world

Materials required

  • Scarboro Missions Golden Rule Poster. To view or order poster, click here.
  • A listing of the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. To access this listing, click here. To avoid printing all five available languages, select only the language you need.
  • Pen/pencil and paper.


    1. Prepare yourself
      Prepare yourself for meditation by any means that you find to be effective. You may want to consider Appendix 4: Tips for preparing for meditation and reflection.
    2. The Golden Rule
      In a slow and reflective fashion, read the 13 versions of the Golden Rule. Take as much time as you need with the writings.
    1. One family in an interdependent and harmonious universe
      Some people claim that a key underlying assumption of the Golden Rule is the unity and interconnectedness of all persons. Accordingly, spend some time imagining what it would be like for the human race to be “one family in an interdependent and harmonious universe.” Don’t worry about being practical. Be as creative and imaginative as you wish. Jot down your thoughts in your journal.
    2. Draw a picture
      Draw an image or a picture of the human race as “one family in an interdependent and harmonious universe.” Use whatever shapes, colours and lines you wish. Feel free to have fun with this exercise – let yourself go! Do things you have not done before!Please note: Don’t worry about being an artist. This exercise is not about artistic talent. It is simply about accessing and expressing your non-verbal inner creativity. A simple stick figure is as adequate as a sophisticated work of art. Resist the temptation to judge your work from an artistic perspective.
    3. Your reactions
      Having created your image, reflect on what it was like for you to create this piece of art. Was it easy? Was it difficult? What feelings were evoked in you? What feelings are present with you now? What did you learn about yourself in this exercise? Jot down your thoughts.
    4. Going deeper
      Spend some time gazing directly at the image you have created. Be present to it. Consider it in all its details. Allow this image to make its way into your heart. Let it impact you. Let it speak to you. Let it do something to you. Jot down in your journal what it is that your image does or says to you. Again, refrain from judging your work from an artistic perspective.
    5. Making connections
      • Spend time gazing upon the Golden Rule Poster. Allow it to speak to you. Study its various visual elements – its overall design, its shapes, colours, lines. Consider how these various elements relate to one another.
      • Reflect on the symbolic meaning of the poster image. Note, for example, that the lines of latitude and longitude on the globe connect the various continents to one another in a single global human community. Observe, on the other hand, that there are no lines dividing the various continents into nations. Note also that the symbols of the various religions are gathered in a circle of circles – the circle is the most universal of religious symbols and represents unity and interconnectedness – in the circle, “everything is connected and everything is one”.
      • Ask yourself, “In what ways does your own artistic creation give further depth and meaning to the Golden Rule Poster?” “In what ways does the Golden Rule Poster give more depth and meaning to your art creation?” “In what ways do the poster and your own artistic creation deepen your understanding of the Golden Rule?” Jot down your thoughts.
  1. Record your thoughts
    Spend some time gathering any insights or reflections that came to you throughout this meditation exercise. Jot down your thoughts in a journal or on paper. To deepen your reflection, consider on or more of the following questions:

    • What was it like for me to do this meditation?
    • At what points during this meditation was I moved? Inspired? Challenged?
    • What questions or issues have been raised for me?
    • What new insights have I gained?
    • What did I learn about myself? About my artistic expression?
    • As a result of this meditation, what aspect of my life might I consider changing?
    • As a result of this meditation, I feel moved to…..
    • What did I learn about the Golden Rule?
    • What did I learn about the world we live in?
    • What did I learn about myself as a member of the global human family?
  2. A group experience
    For instructions on how to adapt this meditation for a group experience, see Appendix 3: Application to a group experience.
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