Here’s a copy of the words used by co-chair Andrea Walker, and Steering Committee member Vicky Langston to introduce our Make Tulsa Golden campaign.
We, the Human Rights Commission and the Compassionate Tulsa Committee, are a group of concerned residents, who are collectively non-polar. We are not here to support any political party. We have no political agenda beyond bringing awareness to compassion, to the compassionate acts already being done in our community and to the need for greater compassion. As the Compassionate Tulsa Committee, our mission is:
To champion and nurture the growth of compassion in Tulsa and surrounding communities, to highlight the compassion of others, and to alleviate suffering and bring healing through the focus on compassion.
As we stand here together in the recent wake of the tragedies of Terence Crutcher, Khalid Jabara, Jose Vega, and unfortunately many others, we are reminded of the pain and suffering, and the need for healing, still present in our community.
We believe that the best way to promote healing is by building relationships and connectedness, recognizing our similarities and common humanity, and identifying with the suffering of others.
When we identify with the suffering of others, what results is greater compassion, which has the potential of reducing our implicit bias toward others. Research has found that greater compassion also leads to greater productivity as a community, greater creativity as artists and entrepreneurs, and ensures our common survival.
But we don’t always act compassionately. Karen Armstrong, scholar of research and literature on religion, said that often “we prefer to be right over being compassionate.” We have all certainly all been at that place at some point, but now our awareness as a community is bringing us beyond the perspective of a single side. Yes, we still have our own unique perspectives, which is important to building a diverse, thriving community. But the way we live into our own perspectives and values continues to evolve into a context of respect and honor of all others, who also share their own perspectives and values.
We think one of the best expressions of our common humanity, interconnectedness, and willingness to identify with the suffering of others is embodied in the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is the common denominator among all major philosophies and world religions. It is something we can all get on board with.
We are asking that everyone in the community of Tulsa take the Golden Pledge, a secular form of the Golden Rule, a commitment to treating all others the way we want to be treated, to help make Tulsa Golden. We are already a golden community… We have the Golden Hurricanes, the Golden Eagles, and the Golden Drillers…why not add the Golden Rule?
A Golden Tulsa is a Tulsa that is concerned about our racial segregation, about marginalization of religious minorities, about inequality and violence toward sexual minorities, about discrimination in health care and housing, about lack of concern for natural resources, and so much more.
A Golden Tulsa reaches beyond our segregation to form coherence, beyond perplexity to form understanding, beyond disapproval to form acceptance, and beyond dissention to form cooperation. We invite, request, challenge, and even plead with you today to search for commonality when there appears to be difference, to “go the extra mile” to “get” another perspective, not to forfeit your own perspective or values, but to step outside of the box to find understanding in a view very different from your own. With this simple act, we affirm our unity as Tulsans, and we move closer to what we all want, a more peaceful and safe community for ourselves and our children.
Today, we make a statement of compassion, as the City Council, Human Rights Commission, and Compassionate Tulsa Committee, to affirm our strength together by pledging to always treat others the way we want to be treated. Together, we pledge to Make Tulsa Golden.
Please join us by visiting our website, compassionatetulsa.org. Take the pledge, print your certificate, and take the survey. The survey will help us determine how connected Tulsans feel and how feeling connected and developing compassion benefits us; ultimately, we want to find ways of determining how to make us more cohesive as a community. Finally, visit the Compassionate Tulsa Facebook, twitter, and Instagram pages and post your ideas of what it means to you to Make Tulsa Golden using #MakeTulsaGolden.
The pledge we wish for Tulsans to take is a secular form of the Golden Rule and appears in the writings of all major religions of the world.
- Buddhism: Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
- Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor…all the rest is commentary.
- Islam: Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.
- Hinduism: This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.
- Christianity: In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you.
And Confucius who lived 551-479 BCE and as far as we know, was the first person to formulate the idea of the Golden Rule when he said, “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.”
So let us join the sages of history as we pledge to treat others the way we want to be treated. Please raise your right hand and with your left reach out not in oppression but in compassion. Please join me in taking the pledge:
I pledge to make Tulsa golden by treating others like I want to be treated.