Writing a blog is a little bit like opening the door to my study and let you peek into my life while it is happening. This time I am opening the door to my kitchen and let you peek into it while we set the table, cook a variety of foods and prepare for a special guest: Ron Radford.
This extraordinary musician and most of all most extraordinary individual is on tour in Europe. He came to Berlin with his Flamenco guitar for a charity concert on behalf of the Roger McGowen Fund, supporting an innocent man in a US prison who is serving a life sentence without reason and who has been rising to such a level of forgiveness and unselfishness that it even blesses those outside the prison walls. This life story is worthy of our full attention and it does have our family attention since we joined Pierre Pradervand and others in their prayerful stance for justice, human rights, and a divine forgiveness that comes only through blessing others. Pierre Pradervand's book Messages of Life from Death Row is an extraordinary, moving read. You can find it in any bookstore close by. Pierre Pradervand, Ron Radford, and many others are active and up and about every day, paying for legal fees, doing fundraising, speaking to Roger every day, taking a practical stand for Truth in the most modest and moving way.
While sitting at lunch, we exchanged ideas - divine ideas, free ideas, grand ideas.
Like the Platinum Rule. Ron Radford explained that he thought that there is an upgrade to the Golden Rule, namely the Platinum Rule. The Golden Rule is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated. In many religions and cultures this rule is present, of course. And it is a wonderful, powerful rule, because it shows that everything in life is linked to each other. Our fates are linked to each other in such a way, that we cannot expect f.e. a happy life if we don't actively work for the happiness of others as well; we cannot expect fair treatment if we don't give others fair treatment; we cannot expect to meet with honesty when we withhold a portion of truth from ourselves or others.
Now here comes the upgrade: While the Golden Rule teaches to treat others as one would wish to be treated, the Platinum Rule teaches to treat others as they would wish to be treated. There is no element of selfishness left, not even the tiniest rest. Just the pure desire that others might be treated in the best possible way without expecting anything in return. Expectancy to receive anything in return even undermines the power of the Platinum Rule.
When we spoke about the Platinum Rule, I brought Christ Jesus into the room. I had noticed during my Bible study, that he himself introduces an upgrade, too. This is what I mean: Jesus has just washed his disciples feet, Judas just left the dinner table to betray "the best man that ever trode the globe " (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p. 52) and Jesus starts a final thorough teaching which includes this statement:
"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13: 34,35)
The old commandment would have been the Golden Rule, but the new commandment is a love that is unselfish and kind, that washes feet and forgives, the Christ love, that is more like an endless stream than a social contract. More like a gift than the momentary quiet that comes from knowing that one is doing the right thing. The Platinum Rule.
As you contemplate this new insight, I invite you to spend your next break with Ron Radford as he shares with you not only wisdom and spirituality, but also his fabulous guitar playing. Find him on his website, too:
"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." These words are not potent in and of itself, but because they stem from experience and demonstration - the life of Nelson Mandela, who would have turned hundred July 18, 2018.
One of the puzzle pieces that kept Nelson Mandela alive and hopeful in prison was The Christian Science Monitor. This newspaper, founded in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, founded on an idea, is one of humanity's miracles of unselfishness and care. Its honest mission is to "injure no man but to bless all mankind". It breathes and stands on this idea.
In 1990, quickly after being released from 27 years of prison in South Africa, Nelson Mandela, on a visit to Boston, went to see the Church that published The Christian Science Monitor. He met one of the Readers of the Church and the Editor at that time, Richard Cattani. And this meeting was a humble and special one, unannounced --- as I heard from a friend of Cattani's who had noticed Mandela standing in front of the Publishing Building on One Norway Street in Boston's Back Bay and looking up and wondering how to get in and thank the editors for their work. A journalist working away at his desk suddenly exclaimed: "I think there is Nelson Mandela standing outside!" Read more about the Christian Science Monitor and this visit here.
July 18 also, unnoticed by many, the most recent peace treaty between Ethiopia and Eritrea was put into practice with a flight linking the two countries which had been engaged in a brutal border war for the past twenty years. Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, is behind this stunning development of reconciliation and peace, a Prime Minister who underlines the need "for a country to be built on ideas, not on division under guise of 'nations and nationalities'." Ideas!
So on board of this first commercial flight linking the two formerly war torn countries, the 315 passengers were reminded of the historic moment. On the flight families separated from loved ones sat next to dignitaries - the war is ended, the future is an open book.
Mary Baker Eddy states the most powerful idea of all:
"One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfills the Scripture, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself;' annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry,—whatever is wrong in social, civil, political, and religious codes..." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 340)
A wonderful visual of the family of man is in this video. Matt is dancing with humanity, you see him dancing in several African countries, too, and, very special, on Robben Island, the island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned 18 of his 27 years, the island which was reached by The Christian Science Monitor, delivering its message of the unconditional meaning and promise of man, based on an idea. The idea of "One infinite God, good...". Robben Island.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
US +1 617 701-7475