Golden Rule

One Part of the "Golden Bears"

Golden Bears in Buenos Aires
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Golden Bears in Buenos Aires Golden Bears in Buenos Aires

The wording of the “Golden Rule” is distributed on two bears holding hands like the other bears in the circle. This symbolises that nobody can live on his or her own, that other people belong to our lives and that our behaviour towards other people has consequences. The 80 translations – also distributed on the two bears – were done by embassy staff and artists of the circle of “United Buddy Bears".

The translations are arranged in a wild muddle on the bears, they intersect but don’t interfere – each translation is readable! That is also part of the “Golden Rule” – not to be afraid of contact but at the same time leave the other person enough room for self-fulfilment and not to be in his or her way.

I see the "Golden Rule" as totally separate from any religious ties – as a logical consequence of the needs any human being has. If I want to be respected, if I want people to be friendly to me and I also need help every now and again – how can these expectations be fulfilled if I don’t expect exactly the same of myself?
But reality is often very different!

Why is this very simple rule neglected so often?
The answers are so manifold that they cannot be given here in full detail! The question. “What can we do to prevent this from happening?” is more important anyway!
The answer is very simple: Everybody has to start with him- or herself!

Take friendliness for example: Treat ALL other human beings...
The friendlier you treat every person that you meet in your daily life, the more this friendliness comes back like a boomerang. The logic of the old German saying: “You get as much as you give!” can be experienced on a daily basis when it comes to friendly interaction with other people.

Example: considerate behaviour in traffic…
Example: listening and giving the other person a chance to speak…
Example: how I treat people that are strangers to me because of the way they look and behave…

We have to start with the upbringing and education of the next generation, that’s where we should lay the foundation for a new generation that internalises this thought, sees it as self-evident!

Main Motif of the Golden Rule Bear Golden Bears with represenatives of different religions Main Motif of the Golden Rule Bear

The “Golden Rule” sounds so banal that hardly anybody honestly considers how far-reaching this simple principle of interaction is. I’m pointing this out so fervently because I’m convinced that there is a lot of unused potential for us to include this way of thinking more into our daily lives together. In order to educate the next generation it is important that we start with our own story. Because there is more to it than what we’ve told our children, which rules and norms we have passed on to them – the way we live is much more important.

But the potential of possibilities to realize a form of education that is described above often is also not used to its full extent in educational institutions, i.e. in the kindergarten or in schools. The “UNITED BUDDY BEARS“ are very suitable for discussions with children about the behaviour towards people from all over the world that are strangers to us, but also to show them that we have to start with this understanding in our immediate vicinity.

You will find ideas for school projects on the subject under

Having in mind that this way of thinking is an important tool for a peaceful coexistence, I would like to apply to all teachers and nursery-school teachers. This homepage can be used for finding information on this topic as a part of your teaching. Thank you!

Eva Herlitz

Eva and Klaus Herlitz with the Golden Bears in Vienna, Austria