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"Could a greater miracle take place
than for us to look through
each other's eyes for an instant?"
- Henry David Thoreau
February 15, 2013
"Attention, Magic and the Golden Rule"
Steffan Soule is a professional magician who is vitally concerned about the environment, water conservation, bullying in the schools (including via cyberspace), along with many other critical issues that confront us. Rather than just utilize his talents for entertainment, Steffan carefully crafts his performances to address such issues. Each piece of magic he executes serves to illustrate a point or serve as an allegory for the message he is trying to convey.
Recently, Steffan was commissioned by the Golden Rule Project and the Utah Arts Council to address bullying and the application of the Golden Rule as part of the solution to this growing problem.
"Attention, Magic and the Golden Rule," was thus created as a performance targeted at the junior high school level. Three schools served as our pilot program to allow Steffan the opportunity to fine tune his important message and to gauge the students' reactions to the various components of his show. The three junior high schools consisted of Granite Park Jr. High, West Lake Jr. High, and Eisenhower Jr. High. We hope to post their reactions shortly. In addition, Three Gun Rose Production, a local film production company was contracted to document the entire process from conception, execution and refinement, to audience feedback and response. This film will be used to promote the Golden Rule Project and the performance for subsequent schools.
If you are a school (or other organization) interested in hosting Steffan's performance, please feel free to contact us here at the Golden Rule Project at 801 433-6275 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also provide a contact at the Utah Arts Council to assist you in the grant application process.
Images from Steffan's performances are shown below.
A portion of Steffan's performance incorporated a tetraflexagon, essentially a folded piece of paper that unfolds in multiple ways to illustrate the practice of the Golden Rule as it pertains to combating bullying. This is a fun project that was distributed to the students at all of the performances and is available to you via the link below. The link provides the PDF along with detailed instructions on how to print it (very important as this is a two-sided document that needs to be aligned perfectly to work), as well as video instructions on how to fold it and share its message with others.
To print the tetraflexagon click below:
To see the instructional videos detailing the printing, construction and use of the tetraflexagon click below and scroll down to select the individual videos:
August 30, 2011
A friend of the Golden Rule Project, Rebecca Burrill instituted her own project recently. She completed an Anti-Bullying/Golden Rule project: a dance performance co-created with Kathy Mendoza and her 6th grade class of the Harwich Middle School. Displayed below are two broadsides illuminated by the students.
November 23, 2010
We recently became aware of this link about the Golden Rule from the British Humanist Association. It is a nice reminder about the Golden Rule.
October 14, 2010
We recently became acquainted with the Scarboro Mission, a Roman Catholic Mission Society based in Canada. They have incorporated the Golden Rule as a major theme in their teachings and have developed a curriculum based upon this principle. Following is an excerpt from a recent e-mail announcement we received from them:
Scarboro Missions is proud to announce the publication of what we believe to the most comprehensive Golden Rule curriculum ever produced in history. Using the logic of circles, rules, moral modeling and the Golden Rule, this curriculum unit inspires and supports young people to become global citizens rooted in the Golden Rule.
The students' learning experience is enriched through drama, art, music, group reflection, journaling and rap. The curriculum can be used in public schools, religious schools and youth organizations. The curriculum boasts a wealth of resources, websites, and Internet Links relevant to the subject matter.
Titled, "A Rule Made of Gold" and geared to an international audience, the curriculum is also available in Word and pdf format.
The curriculum is available from the Scarboro Missions Interfaith Dept. For contact information, visit their website at:
May 22, 2010
"It has long been clear to me that unless we learn to apply the Golden Rule globally, treating all nations, all peoples without exception as we would wish to be treated ourselves, taking their aspirations and difficulties as seriously as we take our own, we are unlikely to have a viable world to hand off to the next generation."
- Karen Armstrong
November 17, 2009
The Lily Pad Code
Once there lived a toad named Ernie,
and Ernie was quite the toad.
When ever Ernie hopped around,
he followed the Lily Pad Code.
The Lily Pad Code you see,
was more than just a rule.
It was this unwritten law of sorts,
that kept peace in their pool.
This code was very simple,
and not to hard to keep.
It stated that when you travel,
watch for others when you leap.
Well one day, as happens oft,
some other toad named Jim,
decided that the Lily Pad Code,
was for others, not for him.
He went about just hopping,
wherever he would please.
Not watching out for other toads,
nor rocks, nor shrubs, nor trees.
When Ernie saw Jim's care free life,
he looked at him and thought:
"That Jim has been a jumpin',
in ways he shouldn't ought."
But what Ernie didn't know,
was that others didn't care.
They too ignored the Lily Pad Code,
when they jumped from here to there.
So almost every single toad
started hopping all about,
bumping into others,
without even watching out!
Well as you can imagine,
things were never quite the same.
There was complete and utter chaos
in this pool that was once quite tame.
The good old days when toads cared
for others were no more,
and all of toad society
was rotten to the core.
You see, these toads used to have
a rule made of gold.
It was very simple,
it was called "the Lily Pad Code."
There's a moral to this story,
in case you haven't guessed,
that you should do to other toads
what for yourself you think is best
Because thinking only of yourself
is a long and lonely road.
But true happiness is watching out
for your fellow toad.
copyright 1997 - Brian Kelley
September 12, 2009
This year, for the second time, we hosted a booth at the annual Avenues Street Fair. Kelli Bellon, the artist we commissioned to produce a coloring book for us, joined us. We had a lot of fun sharing information about the Golden Rule Project and invited strollers to color a card for us. Here are a few of the images from this event.
June 18, 2009
In conjunction with our Golden Rule Story Starter Cards, we recently interviewed the creator and artist, Kelli Bellon. Click HERE to view the video and gain some insights into her creative process and to hear her thoughts regarding the Golden Rule.
June 3, 2009
We read Grammy-winning singer-songwriter John Legend's stirring commencement address on Sunday at the University of Pennsylvania, College of Arts and Science. He describes the Golden Rule as a means to understanding and social action. Read his address or view a video by clicking on the following link:
Also, when we began our Golden Rule Project, we encountered an interesting article on Dr. Felton Earl regarding his studies on crime and "community."
May 19, 2009
President Barack Obama’s reference to the Golden Rule in his address to the graduating class of Notre Dame on May 17th, 2009:
“For if there is one law that we can be most certain of, it is the law that binds people of all faiths and no faith together. It is no coincidence that it exists in Christianity and Judaism; in Islam and Hinduism; in Buddhism and humanism. It is, of course, the Golden Rule - the call to treat one another as we wish to be treated. The call to love, to serve, to do what we can to make a difference in the lives of those with whom we share the same brief moment on this Earth.”
May 13, 2009
We have received our new Golden Rule coloring book from Artistic Press.
It is more accurately, a set of twenty-two individual cards. We are in the process of distributing them to the various school districts. Should you require more information please contact us. For individuals interested in purchasing their own copies, the book is available at Dragon Dreams or Phillips Gallery in Salt Lake City.
Also, to learn more about Kelli Bellon, the artist, visit her website at www.smartart333.com.
March 26, 2009
We just submitted a new Golden Rule coloring book to our friends at Artistic Press. We recently met Kelli Bellon, a local artist who has been designing and producing her own coloring book line on a limited basis locally. We commissioned Kelli to produce a distinctive Golden Rule coloring book for us. As a result of our collaboration, we are producing a set of 22 individual cards that fit into a nice outer envelope. This will enable us to design additional cards that can simply be inserted into the envelope on an ongoing basis. In addition, the cards are easily reproducible for teachers to provide to their students. Each card contains an original drawing by Kelli inspired by a Golden Rule formulation quoted underneath. Kelli has provided a little biography on the back side of each card of the person quoted. We're very excited to have the "book" completed for distribution. For more information about the book, feel free to contact us.
A brief biography from the book follows:
Kelli Bellon was born and raised in Draper, Utah. Her art is a reflection of her personal journey and is inspired by her fond memories of time spent in the mountains near her childhood home and of the self-sufficient nature of the community. These memories along with her experience as a single mother, led to her interest in the science of sustainable
living called Permaculture.
She has taught children’s classes on exploring the relationship between the microcosm and the macrocosm through art and has worked with school classes to construct mandala gardens.
February 13, 2009
We obtained a QuickTime copy of a videotape produced by Spy Hop Productions regarding the launch of our Golden Rule Project in the elementary schools with the Utah Arts Council and the Utah State Office of Education in 2003. The videotape features artists who were commissioned to showcase the theme of the Golden Rule for an annual art educator's meeting that is held for elementary school teachers in Utah. Our thanks to Spy Hop for this excellent video.
Click HERE to see the video.
January 20, 2009
We will be adding more videos to our website in the future. These videos are configured for Windows Media Player. If you utilize a Mac, these videos may not be viewable without an additional software download. We recommend going to www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/download/AllDownloads.aspx. Select the choice for Windows Media Components for QuickTime, "download now" and follow the step-by-step instructions to enable this capability.
January 15, 2009
Last month we featured a video interview with composer Phillip Bimstein about his tenure as mayor of Springdale. This month we have compiled portions from the original interview detailing Phillip's thought process as he composed a Golden Rule musical number as commissioned by the Utah Arts Council. As always, Phillips shares some interesting insights about the Golden Rule. Click here to view the video.
December 18, 2008
Recently we were able to accompany Linton Dean to Sandy Elementary School where Linton volunteered to conduct a lesson on the Golden Rule. We captured some of the interactions between Linton and Mrs. Catherine Jarman's 4th grade class. Click here to visit the class.
December 12, 2008
Following are some new Golden Rule formulations composed by the young sages of Catherine Jarman's fourth grade class of Sandy Elementary School. We think they provide a new perspective on the Golden Rule.
Say good not bad
You must not fight
Be good neighbors
Set a good example
Don't leave anyone behind
Include everyone as your friend
Be friends and spread happiness
Don't hurt people if you want respect
Respect everyone and don't hurt them
Help everyone if they're hurt or lonely
Feel it yourself before you do it to others
Don't bully unless you want to be bullied
Don't hurt other people or you will get hurt
Treat other people nice that you don't know
Respect others the way you want to be treated
Treat everyone like your family to have respect
Do not treat others bad that were even nice to you
Include people in games if you want to be included in other games
Golden Rule video interviews
Recently we have been conducting interviews with some remarkable people we have encountered in our work with the Golden Rule Project. Linton Dean is a University of Utah student majoring in theater and linguistics, who became involved in our project when he entered an essay contest based upon art in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. The item Linton wrote about happened to be our Golden Rule Broadside. Inspired by the Golden Rule, Linton started his own Golden Rule Project. Click here to meet Linton and to hear about his project.
Phillip Bimstein is a world-renowned composer and musician. He has been featured on NPR among other prestigious media outlets. His music encompasses different genres, but most stem from his interest and love of people. In 2005, Phillip composed a Golden Rule piece commissioned by the Utah Arts Council. In addition to his many accomplishments, he served as mayor of Springdale, Utah for two terms. Click here to meet Phillip and learn a little about his term as mayor.
"Sustainability is equity over time. As a value, it refers to giving equal weight in your decisions to the future as well as the present. You might think of it as extending the Golden Rule through time, so that you do unto future generations (as well as to your present fellow beings) as you would have them do unto you."
-Robert Gilman, Context Institute
We are working at putting some video clips on our website. Our first video is an interview with Linton Dean, a friend of the Golden Rule Project, who was inspired to teach the Golden Rule as an assignment for one of his classes at the University of Utah. To view this interview, click on stories/responses, then click on "Linton Dean" in the first story. Please note, you must have Windows Media Player and a high speed internet connection is required.
More Photos from Maine
We just received more photos from the Norway Sidewalk Art Festival in Maine that we wanted to share with you.
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Avenues Street Fair - Salt Lake City 2008
Just like the Norway Sidewalk Art Festival, it was a beautiful summer day, but this time, the venue was the annual Avenues Street Fair. The Avenues is one of the oldest established neighborhoods of Salt Lake City. Each year, the Greater Avenues Coummunity Council selects a different portion of the Avenues Area to highlight local artists, musicians, restaurants and non-profit organizations. There were over 200 booths and 10,000+ visitors. This is the first year the Golden Rule Project participated in the fair. We were able to familiarize many visitors with our project and distributed free golden rule posters in both the English and Spanish languages. Our thanks to Sharon Rose and Julie Lehr for their assistance.
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Norway Sidewalk Art Festival 2008
It was a gorgeous summer day in Maine and smiling faces abounded. Over 100 artists, more than 100 performers, 50 volunteers, two coordinators, numerous community, civic and nonprofits groups and approximately 5,000 people combined July 12 to produce what is now being hailed as the best Norway arts Festival and the Golden Rule Project tent was there.
During the course of the day, hundreds of curious people stopped by to view the attractive broadsides on display and learn about the project. Local artists, Pat Chandler of Norway, Maine and Cynthia Pfender, also an art teacher, of Conway, NH, beautifully illuminated the broadsides.
Among the many visitors were numerous teachers (of both public and private schools), parents, Sunday school teachers, Boy Scout and Girl Scout leaders, grandparents, and community officials. Many expressed an appreciation of the project in its inclusive, non-denominational and broad reaching capacity and application in an effort to bring a much-needed atmosphere of tolerance and harmony to our schools and communities.
Posters of the Golden Rule were appreciatively received along with “business cards” with website and contact information and The Golden Rule Project booklets containing suggestions for a school curriculum.
While parents carefully rolled posters, vowing to frame them and place them in their kitchen to discuss with their children, teachers expressed a much-needed dialog and a more unifying approach with students regarding “bullying” and mutual respect.
The combined venture of the Golden Rule Art Tent and the adjoining Golden Rule Café provided a “nourishing” venue for warm exchange and engaging dialog with locals and visitors alike as we reflected on the collective wisdom contained in the many formulations of the Golden Rule.
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Spreading the Golden Rule
Recently , Linton Dean participated in an essay contest sponsored by the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Linton's essay was based upon the Golden Rule from one of our broadsides displayed at the museum. Linton is presently taking a theatre class at the University of Utah entitled "Grappling Diversity Through the Arts." As a component of the class, Linton is engaged in a project involving diversity/multiculturalism with the arts. He is working with a 6th grade class utilizing the Golden Rule as the theme. He has had the class develop their own formulations and had them perform improvisational scenes where they can apply the Golden Rule. As another exercise, the students are illuminating their own Golden Rule posters. We are excited that Linton has taken our project even further and incorporated it in his work with the class. To view some of the posters click here.
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"The golden rule is like a compass.
keep it always in my pocket,
and, if I ever am lost or disoriented, I
take it out and immediately know which way to go."