Young people running the path of the Golden Rule - 13 May 2008

 Last Saturday hundreds of teenagers and children in different parts of the UK took part in the Run4Unity, part of a world-wide virtual relay race across the time zones of the world.

Run4Unity was the inspiration of Chiara Lubich the founder of Focolare who died on 14th March this year. Young people from across the world want to bridge the gaps between rich and poor, old and young; between ethnicities, cultures and religions. The theme of the event was the Golden Rule, common to all religions "Always treat others as you would like them to treat you" (Mt 7:12).

The London venue for Run4Unity was The Scoop at More London, and the run itself took in the embankment passing under Tower Bridge, by City Hall and HMS Belfast. The event included the testimony of a young woman from Rwanda who escaped the genocide and is now in Britain. She said the Golden Rule is the answer to all the problems of the world today. This was preceded by a telephone link up with young people in Kenya who shared how they had lived the Golden Rule during the post-election disturbances. Each one wrote down how they thought they could put the Golden Rule into practice when they went home. Their commitments, on post-it notes, included:

"I'm going to help people with things they don't understand at school."

"Help my Mum look after my brother"

"To be good"

"Love everyone and respect them"

"Welcome every new person I meet"

"Live life to the max!"

"Comfort my sister when she's under pressure and not get angry at her when she gets angry at me."

On leaving they contributed generously to a collection for the victims of the flooding in Burma.

In Wales the Run4Unity took place in Bute Park, adjacent to the Millennium Stadium. Secretary of State for Wales Rt Hon. Paul Murphy MP cut the ribbon at the start of the run and he affirmed that: '...By taking part in the run for unity, young people in Wales are helping to spread the message of unity across the world. The differences between us should not be merely tolerated but celebrated wherever you are in the world..'

Other UK venues for Run4Unity were Glasgow, Leeds, Preston and Warrington and the UK shared the 4 o'clock slot in the world wide relay with Cameroon, Iceland, Burkina Faso, Ireland and Iceland.

There was an atmosphere of fun, energy and a commitment to be builders of peace in our own localities. This is just the start of something that will carry on growing.

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