“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. This is “The Golden Rule”.

Most of us see this as a good rule of thumb. Not just those of us who are shaped by a Christian cultural heritage, such as myself, but throughout the world and within all religions.

Five years ago, I gave a lecture in Iran. In front of a packed auditorium at Tehran University, I spoke about HR, management, motivation and working environment. And trust. What builds trust and what tears it down. Well supported by a highly skilled simultaneous translator with solid cross-cultural competence and who helped me steer clear of the worst missteps. Because culture is also about religion, and that is where the minefields lie.

We prepared in advance. I was most excited about the sequence about reciprocity. “Can I talk about this, directly connected to religion?”, I asked. She thought that was fine. And I got started.

“This is something we have in common,” I said. After which, with the support of Wikipedia and a skilled interpreter, I compared the Bible’s version of The Golden Rule with corresponding passages in the Koran and the other world religions. The response was immediate and positive. Everyone understood the point, and with that in mind, we had a good discussion about generally valid principles for good leadership and co-workers. And HR’s role in this.

What is happening in Tehran today is just sad. The same applies to Ukraine. And elsewhere – in Europe and elsewhere.

But there is always hope. For the values ​​at the bottom, we have them in common to a large extent. Don’t let religion, ethnicity or geographical boundaries cast doubt on that. The only problem is that there is so much distance between life and teaching, right down to the values, when rulers, clergy and false prophets get away with it.

Most European countries are multicultural societies, where to varying degrees we respect, actively support and participate in each other’s religious holidays. Where history and mythology are woven into a large and confusing tapestry of faith and doubt, traditions and living rules. It is in that chaos of diversity that we must include, point the direction and lead the way.

Everything built on charity and reciprocity. Values ​​I like to think we all share. Deep inside.

Take good care of yourself and your loved ones this Christmas. Charge the batteries and disconnect from work. Then we can look forward to a new year, with hope for a better life for everyone and where HR makes an ever greater difference. For the individual, the business and the society we have in common.

Even Bolstad
EAPM President