02/04/2011 10:09 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

What Unites Us Around the World?

Did you feel unmoored this week as people took to the streets across the Arab world and the rest of us were pummeled by huge storms?

Each night, I lit candles against the darkness, and said prayers for those who are suffering (and, yes, I gave a thought to the birds and the whales -- where do they go at times like this?).

And I spent some time thinking about what unites us, regardless of where we live, which culture we claim, what dream we pursue. The golden rule kept drifting into my head, "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you." A version of it appears in most traditions around the globe (yes, in all the "great books," but surely in civilizations figuring out how to live together long before that).

And then, in the morning newspaper, I discovered a gem from Chinese-Canadian artist William Ho, talking about his work: "A single stroke in ink symbolizes that we are one family, connected by one heart." Words to live by.

What's on your mind this weekend, as you survey the world? Are you hopeful that democracy will emerge? Did you get caught in one of the great storms of 2011? Do you have a sense that we are in this together (did people step up to help)? And are you as happy as I am to bid farewell to the year of the tiger and hello to the bunny?

Julia Moulden is an author, speaker and columnist. Read her HuffPost archive, which includes more about the New Radicals and the first columns about her upcoming book "RIPE."