Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s the Golden Rule. Through the course of my elementary school career this simple principle was used by teachers to settle pretty much any argument feasibly concocted by the mind of a second-grader.
Well, fast-forward a few decades, and the Louisville-based Interfaith Paths to Peace (IIP) has taken this elementary code to a new level, in order to “foster and enhance peace and compassion between all religions through a rainbow of events and activities.”
Terry Taylor, the Executive Director of Interfaith Paths to Peace, runs an incredibly unique organization. With a Board of Directors comprised of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Baha’is, Buddhists, Hindus, and Unitarians, Interfaith Paths to Peace truly practices the compassionate understanding and cooperation that they preach to community- all with the goal of promoting a more peaceful existence.
“We try to be universally positive. For example, we are pro-peace, not anti-war;” Taylor says, “you won’t see us protesting or picketing to reach people.” Instead, they plan alternative events.
For example, three years ago the widely-publicized “open carry service”- where members of New Bethel Church were encouraged to bring their unloaded guns to church “as a show of support for the Second Amendment and First Amendment”- took place. Taylor chose to plan a substitute counter-rally, "Bring Your Peaceful Heart ... Leave Your Gun at Home," that coincided with the gun service. There was no need to protest, "that's not how we do things," Terry said. "We wanted to hold our own event and give something to people that we think is better."
Upcoming IIP events that are open to the community include interfaith prayer meetings, an ongoing lunch hour mediation session every Wednesday, and an October 25th dinner that, in partnership with Highlands Community Ministries, will celebrate the diversity of various religious traditions.
Also, keep an eye out for Terry on Facebook at ‘Terry Taylor’ and on twitter at @interfaithterry. He posts a daily compassionate living tip- his tip for readers today? “Two things: one, religiously we need to celebrate what we have in common, while acknowledging that through recognizing our difference we can enhance our own religious experiences. There are things we can learn from each other. Secondly, follow the Golden Rule. Every religious tradition has some version of it. And it really is a healthy way of living”
More information can be found at www.paths2peace.org