Friday, March 23, 2018


Enjoy the beginnings of Spring with these photos by Bill Slavin

 As a writer, I am always writing articles in my head. I see something that sparks an idea. If I'm lucky, I'm close to my computer or a piece of paper to write the thoughts down. If not, they blow away, wander off while I am sleeping, or disappear in a conversation.

Often while I am head-composing, I will read an article by another writer about the same subject I've been thinking about. I'd been collecting ideas about  all the sounds that accost us each day: dishwasher buttons, our alarm in the morning, laundry machine warning bells, phones with messages, and how they affect almost every aspect of our lives. I hadn't gotten my ideas on paper. Instead, I opened the newspaper to find a well-written essay about all those persistent noises in our lives. We think alike, don't we?

by Bill Slavin

I wrote a blog post about the meaning of friends. The day after I posted, I received my monthly guide from Holstee.* The guide chose to emphasize kinships and the value of relationships. We think alike, don't we?

How often have you thought about an idea only to find that others are thinking in the same direction?

by Bill Slavin

I think our similar thoughts result from a common human value: our need to belong. Like ants, we create networks: some visible, such as roads, wires, and ropes, while other paths develop in our imagination. We create connections between friends or family members. Sometimes the connections are so close we finish each other's sentences, or we 'know' what someone else is thinking at the moment. Sometimes the connections allow us to meet other people from different areas of the world.

You could say that Great Minds Think Alike, but I also think that ordinary minds do too, which allows ideas to float around the world. The Internet helps to make those ideas travel. But even before the Internet, similar concepts developed in the minds of different cultures. Variations of the Golden Rule emerged all over the world. They didn't have the Internet back then, but maybe the coincidence  is the result of how our brains work. We need connections. Those older cultures knew we needed to learn to live with one another. We formed similar rules in different places to express the importance of compassion for each other.

This year is a good time to remember our kinship with people all over the world. April 5 is International Golden Rule Day, a day created in 2011 by the UN to acknowledge our relationships and as a reminder to treat each other well. Though the variations of the GR originated from religious teachings, we all can take part in a celebration of what the Golden Rule means in our world.

To join in celebrating Golden Rule Day on April 5, go to

by Bill Slavin

Here is a listing of some of the versions of the GR. Can you identify where each came from?

In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you.

One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated.

One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct...loving kindness. 
Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.

Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.

You can find the answers and more variations on Paul McKenna's poster of the Golden Rule by clicking the following link:

by Bill Slavin
Join with Karen Armstrong, comparative religions and Golden Rule researcher and founder of The Charter of Compassion, in her quest to promote compassionate action in our daily lives. I've signed the Charter. I hope you will too.

The following essay by Lee Beaumont gives you considerably more details about the origins of the Golden Rule in various cultures:

* Receive Holstee's monthly guides at

by Bill Slavin

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