HUDSON — Hudson neighbors are encouraged to gather, get to know each other and make connections in a citywide event Thursday, Aug. 26.
The Golden Rule Project is hosting a “Be Golden” picnic night to bring community members together. The event will be set up much like the original National Night Out, with neighborhoods encouraged to host their own individual BBQs and block parties.
The event is part of the larger Golden Rule Initiative, started by Mayor Rich O’Connor. The use of city resources to promote the initiative has seen some divisiveness on the council, but members agree on its promotion of civility and neighborliness.
“The Golden Rule, there are similar teachings in almost every single branch of religion and secular thought. So it’s a really universal principle and so it’s broad enough for enough people they could hang their hat on and bring people together,” Golden Rule team chair Larry Szyman said.
Szyman leads the team of community members behind the Golden Rule Project, including representatives from the library, faith community, community organizations and more.
The Aug. 26 event is one among many efforts. On Sept. 12 area churches will be preaching on the Golden Rule. Yard signs advocating for the Golden Rule are also available for those interested in supporting the initiative.
“One of my personal goals was that people who might be used to seeing signs on one person's yards and another person's yards that were different, that they're now putting the same sign up,” Szyman said. “And they might be going, oh, maybe we're not so different after all and seeing each other in a new light, hopefully leading to just a better tone.”
The initiative, and Szyman’s involvement in it, was born in response to divisiveness within the country at a national, state and local level, Szyman said.
“We’d love to chip away at that and provide an alternative,” he said.
The success of the initiative is hard to measure, Szyman said, and it’s about the tone.
“We’re talking about neighbors talking to each other, for the first time or again,” he said. “It’s about people seeing each other in keeping with our similarities rather than our differences and realize how much we have at stake in each other’s welfare and how it’s in our best interest to care for each other.”
He hopes the initiative will inspire others to give people the benefit of the doubt and the ability to talk to each other when they disagree.
“I want anyone who moves to Hudson to feel like they’ve got a safe space, not only physically but relationally, and the opportunity to take advantage of the schools, the restaurants, the river, the churches without a sense that they’re looking over their shoulder,” he said.