“Golden Rule Moments, from #LiveGoldenaz!” in the AZ Republic

Golden Rule Moments, from #LiveGoldenaz!

Kendra Ruth

Special to Arizona Republic USA TODAY NETWORK

It was a Live Golden Reunion – true Golden Moments to celebrate! Nivea Krishan and Grant Williams, the original Live Golden hosts, have set an amazing example, addressing important topics with teens and sharing them with the general public. #LiveGoldenaz episodes are three minutes long, encouraging teens to voice their opinions on difficult issues, then reflecting how the Golden Rule can be applied for solutions.

The excitement could be felt! After several years of different hosts and videographers, topics and a pandemic, current and former Live Golden Teams came, including Nivea Krishan, Grant Williams, Trisha Panse, Anusha Rahman and James Kinney. We missed Live Golden team members Evan Crabtree, Sean-David Ta and Manvi Harde.

As the conversations began, one topic addressed was how Live Golden helps create a new image for youth. Grant expressed his feeling that people’s opinions really do matter and that you can find goodness in those that are very different from yourself. Nivea also reflected, “Live Golden really taught me the importance of making sure people are engaged.” Larry Fultz, executive director of AZIFM, expressed his warm appreciation for the youth and the example they set that grants multigenerational hope for the future.

LeAnn Basha, AGREE coordinator, who joined the reunion virtually, shared her sentiments, “With youth like this in the world, I can ‘Imagine’ a beautiful future,” referencing John Lennon’s song. She continued, “Where you would like to see the world to be in five years?” The group collectively shared their desire for people to unify, for example identifying primarily as American or a global citizen, versus being so divided. James mentioned how the Olympics were a great example of this desired global energy.

Reflecting back a few months, Manvi, Trisha, Anusha and James were featured on AZTV7’s “Daily Mix.” Show host Brad Perry named them Golden Rule ambassadors. Trisha heartily agreed with this title and stated that Live Golden is “all about giving a voice to teenagers and showing how they use the Golden Rule in their daily lives.” Manvi expressed, “(We) really need to make sure we are careful about what we say and how we make other people feel.” Videographer James also chimed in, stating that it is important to “get the student perspectives out there.” In the concluding moments of the feature, Perry concluded that the Live Golden ambassadors help show Arizonans the importance of listening to the voices of our youth.

During the #LiveGoldenaz Reunion, the truth of Brad’s statement echoed as the ambassadors were asked to pick a word that summed up their personal Live Golden Experience. The words they chose were profound, including: “transformative,” “pragmatic” and “community.” They each clarified their word choices with statements of impact and hope. Anusha, the Live Golden publicist, shared, “I think it is a very realistic way that we approach common social issues and we have this connection that is so real and so (practical) with the community around us, especially with teenagers and peers.” Their comments can assist us in reflecting on the positive impact diverse conversation can have on all of us.

After a countdown and a hearty cheer of “LIVE GOLDEN!,” the teens departed together, smiling and laughing. The sun’s light reflected in the atmosphere around them, and yet it seemed as though the light was coming from within each one of them. They had all experienced a change through their engagement with the Golden Rule. It was as though an army of “golden” civilians were marching out into the world, educated and ready to generate a brighter future.

See video highlights of the Live Golden Reunion at https://goldenruleeducation. org/category/news/ and BELOW.

PART OF THE USA TODAY NETWORK Copyright © 2021 The Arizona Republic 9/11/2021

“Bringing Golden Rule to the playing field” published

The fresh green grass lay crisp with a hint of morning dew as the sun rose above my neighborhood park. The playground still stood proudly over the sea of messy wood chips, and the faint buzzing of the sprinklers could be heard occasionally throughout the day.

However, this familiar landscape felt stranger than ever before. The swing sets helplessly croaked, while the basketball courts were left as a barren desert. Fields that were once brimming with competition and excitement reeked of negligence and surrender. Sports had always been a major part of this neighborhood, but after months of isolation, the image of a bustling park on a Saturday afternoon before the weekly mini-volleyball tournament seemed like a foreign concept.

The realities of my specific neighborhood park can be applied to the rest of the nation, as sporting events have been canceled again and again while the pandemic passes. Sports have served as an important part of social interaction for many teens across the country and integrated itself as a favorite pastime of many people. Parents play catch with their kids in the backyard, families go for early morning walks, and friend groups ride bikes in the evening together. Every moment is a special instance of community in which actions can speak louder than words.

But after sports have started to return in recent months, athletes have recognized an important lesson from their times in quarantine, one that utilizes the Golden Rule to its full potential.

Mountain View senior Pratik Shah said, “Kindness and empathy really helps with forming a new bond with your teammates.” Hamilton High junior Megan Misener furthered, “Treating others with respect can really bring out the best performance from everybody.” These teens have constructed a compelling narrative about the personal development that sports can bring them during such a difficult time and how their normal routines have been drastically shifted.

The Golden Rule is a flexible principle that can be applied to any aspect of life, and through these shared experiences, living golden within sports can be as simple as being there for your teammates by cheering them on at practices and meets.

Resilient youth illustrate how deep the values of respect, honesty, civility and kindness impact the way we view and participate in sports today. Winning, winning, winning — is that what sports is really about? Well, according to these athletes, integrity must be placed on the same pedestal as winning in sports. Integrity is the foundational principle for creating uplifting and supportive environments that allow all of the athletes, whether they are on the same team or opposing team, to flourish. The Golden Rule is cultivated on the soil of integrity, and this is demonstrated by these youth who work hard and play hard.

So, my neighborhood park may not have as many people showing up to the mini-volleyball tournaments anymore, but I can still invite that warmth of community into my own home with my family.

Tune into our segment about sports during COVID-19 on March 23rd on AZTV Channel 7 at 8 a.m. or watch it on the AGREE Golden Rule website azGoldenRule. org under LiveGolden.

Anusha Rahman is the publicist for LiveGoldenAZ! She is currently a junior at Hamilton High School.

Live Golden

Anusha Rahman Guest columnist

PART OF THE USA TODAY NETWORK Copyright © 2021 The Arizona Republic 3/12/2021

“The inspiration behind keeping the Golden Rule promise” – published!

The inspiration behind keeping the Golden Rule promise

By Vicki Higgins

Special to Arizona Republic USA TODAY NETWORK

Driving daily on Arizona streets and highways, I would often see “Golden Rule” license plates on vehicles. It was not until the AGREE program was brought to my school that I learned of the importance of these plates — funding for the AGREE program. Immediately I knew I was going to support AGREE and purchase a plate for my own vehicle. Never having a vanity plate, I also knew this would be the perfect time to design a plate that represented me and the “Golden Rule” message.

For several months I thought about what I would have molded into my plate. Nothing I came up with seemed right. I wanted something meaningful to the message of the plate – a series of numbers, letters, numbers and letters that related to “living the Golden Rule.” One day, without warning, an event occurred that would lead me to my beloved “Golden Rule” vanity plate, ‘AZ 22420.’

As a basketball fan, I had followed Kobe Bryant through his career. Not only was Kobe an amazing athlete, he was an ambassador to women’s’ basketball and a philanthropist. On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter accident along with his daughter, Gianna, and several others on the way to his daughter’s basketball game. Stunned like the rest of the world, I found myself learning about the amazing acts of kindness that few knew about until after Kobe was gone. Athletes, kids, friends, family, started sharing their stories, big or small, about Kobe and his generosity, money he had donated, ill kids he had visited, foundations he had supported, on and on.

On February 7, Kobe and his daughter were buried in a private funeral in Pacific View Memorial Park in the Corona del Mar neighborhood of Newport Beach, California. Stories of Kobe’s generosity continued to pour out over the next few weeks. Stories of kindness, empathy, respect, and civility flooded news sources and social media. Wanting to allow all fans the opportunity to say goodbye to such an amazing athlete and person, a public memorial service was held on February 24, 2020 at Staples Center. This date was chosen intentionally to forever represent Kobe and Gianna.

As I sat and watched the public service from my home, my Golden Rule moment told me immediately what my vanity plate would say, and more importantly, represent. While choosing my personalized AGREE license plate I decided to request 22420 In my mind, not only did this represent an amazing man and his daughter, but it also represented the message of the “Golden Rule.”

I believe Kobe Bryant was a true example of the “Golden Rule.” I continue to find story after story of amazing acts of Kobe’s kindness. Through my own love of basketball, awe of Kobe Bryant and what he stood for, and dedication to the AGREE program, I had no doubt that “22420” was a great choice for my plate! I immediately put in my vanity plate request. A short time later my plate arrived. Each day I have the privilege of driving with a license plate that commemorates a great person and supports an amazing educational program.

Vicki Higgins is an educator at the Arts Academy at Estrella Mountain.

PART OF THE USA TODAY NETWORK Copyright © 2020 The Arizona Republic 10/15/2020