In this series of blogs we ask people from around the world to reflect on what the Golden Rule means to them. In the second of the series we hear from Laura in Brazil.
When someone thinks about a country whose main characteristic is inequality, like Brazil, their first thought might be - How can The Golden Rule be lived out in an environment like this?
There are two ways of looking at it. On a social macro perspective, that means looking at the whole puzzle from above or on a social micro perspective, which means the interconnection between every piece of the puzzle.
A lot of Brazilians might not grasp the exact concept of what The Golden Rule is - "to do to others as you would have them do to you", however most practice it every day without even realizing it.
Living in an unequal country, without much government assistance, Brazilians are forced to live out The Golden Rule daily to survive let alone thrive as a society. The chain that brings us all together and forward is compassion, which is at the heart of the Golden Rule. Alone we can’t ever get very far, and selfishness is a “privilege" that most Brazilians cannot afford to have.
In Brazil, we have a famous idiomatic expression that says “one hand washes the other” - it means I will help you because I would want to be helped if it was me. A great example of this in action is a campaign created during this year’s carnival. Carnival is an annual Brazilian festival, and like most holidays it is a huge source of income for many people. Due to Covid 19, this year's carnival has been cancelled leaving thousands without money to pay bills or buy food. In the spirit of The Golden Rule, many fundraisers have been set up to raise money for those who have lost out during the carnival season due to the pandemic - saving thousands from defaulting on bills and putting food on their tables.
Often we tend to think that The Golden Rule is not present in countries scarred by inequality, but we need to look deeper into the connections between good people that are trying to change and have a positive impact. To me, The Golden Rule is all about sharing, helping, and giving others the opportunities you may have, that they don’t. We all have something to share, no matter who we are, what we do, and how much we have in our bank accounts.
The Golden Rule is less of a rule and more of something in-built into who we are, no matter how deep we have to go to uncover it. It is within us all and inspires connection and love, making it stronger than any virus or disease.
Laura Mesquita is 20 and lives in Brazil. She is studying economics at University and is volunteering with Reboot the Future.
If you are interested in giving your perspective on the Golden Rule as part of this blog series, please get in touch.