Saturday, January 21, 2012

PEACE DEAL



So Peace calls the world and says, "I bring calm in your inner beings, togetherness in your families, unity in your communities, economic stability in your nations, and harmony in your world. All I ask you is to introspect with an open heart, be tolerant towards each other, share your resources, live and let live, enjoy freedom and let others enjoy it too and in return God will give you salvation from your fears and prosperity for you and your next generations. 



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Peace Vs. Coke

Last week, I participated in a conference organized by the United States Institute of Peace, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University and World Faiths Development Dialogue. It was a great learning experience, interacting with women from different parts of the world talking about peace efforts right from streets in small villages to national level peace table. There were stories of few successes and some failures. One of the concerns was the marginalization of women from the peace table and how we ensure that women are included in peace negotiations and policy making. 


While everybody agreed that not all women are peace builders, the cases studies shared at the conference made it clear that women do have innate and learned traits and behaviors that make them more nurturing, giving and a source that can unite the people around them. 


I am sure that if mothers are aware and convinced about the commonalities between different religions and would teach their children about those themes early on, no terrorist group can misguide our children ever again. My paper focused on India and presented seven common themes derived from the holy scriptures of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam that lead to forgiveness, unity and hope. There is quite a bit of literature around the common teachings in different religions, especially, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, the only problem is that it has not reached the common people.  These teachings must be taken out of the books/internet to the streets in the form of massive public campaigns. The reach of this kind of teachings must be as good as reach of Coke or Pepsi, if not better. 


And that is why we need the Department/Ministry of Peace in our countries, which is supported by the corporate world. Serious commitment from those in power can lead to peace, cease the suffering for millions and substantially mitigate the threat on the human race in the form of a potential nuclear war. I wonder what stops them! Is it lust for power? Or is it insecurity? Or their own biases? Or are they just too busy to focus on the need of peace in this world? Are all the powerful people chained with greed for power and their insecurities? 


Actually, the most important question is what can we, as common people, do in this regard? Can we begin by educating ourselves about commonalities and similarities? How about a shared vision where God is respected and His creation is protected with dignity and respect? Whose religion opposes this vision? 


I am thankful for institutes such as USIP, who are trying to bring people together not only the women but people from all walks of life to strengthen peace efforts around the world. I agree with Reverend Susan Thistlethwaite, Professor of Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary, who said that peace efforts must be initiated, guided and implemented at the community level and must be supported by local/national/international level actors/platforms. 


It is time for each of us to take an action for ourselves, our dear ones and all our fellow human beings, especially those who are suffering. We can start by activities (these activities can be defined through education, introspection and collective planning) leading to transformation and reconciliation within our inner selfs, in the communities and then make changes at the policy level that will take us all towards sustainable peace. 

PS. It would be great if every Coke bottle could carry a message of unity and hope… that would be a great contribution of big corporates like Coke in peace efforts. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wishing you all a Super New Year!!! May Our Lives be Adorned with Peace and Wisdom through the Freely Flowing Grace of the Almighty! 

Ah, The Moments of Faith!

Faith and fear, How different they are, To find a place in my heart, They're always at war! There are moments, When fear w...