Our Tears Are The Same - World Interfaith Harmony Week
Why is it important to understand and respect all faith traditions?
If we were to travel outside of this assembly hall, past the school gates, past the Golden Hillock Road, in fact, past Birmingham, beyond the United Kingdom and zoom out to think of the world, our planet. What is happening to us? Our families, our schools, our communities, our countries, our planet?
There are more than 50 armed conflicts being waged across the world an incalculable number of hate crimes and an overwhelming amount of hate speech. Over 60 million refugees have fled the terrors of war of two neighbouring countries; an ongoing human tragedy that shows no signs of abating. Physicians for Social Responsibility - A Nobel Peace Prize winning organization - estimates that in just the last few years five countries have been destroyed by conflict.
Religion is often blamed. Religion has played a role in creating these conflicts, extremists everywhere have distorted its teachings to justify their acts of terror the media professors and powerful individuals often suggest that religion is the villain but religion and faith are also leading a movement to resolve these conflicts.
Humanity's ability to be compassionate and loving is greatly underestimated, and these attributes are strengthened by religious values across the world by focusing our efforts on the positive side of human nature; virtues such as compassion and selflessness.
We can begin to bring these conflicts to an end. It is a part of our nature that searches for justice and peace among those who would otherwise be our phones the protects those who cannot protect themselves and will not stand idle and watch what we love die. It is a part of our nature that seeks the truth and recognises that religion can bring us closer to what we all strive and yearn for - a more just and peaceful world.
Look around you today. You are some of the smartest and most compassionate people in the world…together when we leave the school gates, walk back through our neighbourhoods to be with our families, we commit at Ark Boulton Academy to creating a more just and peaceful world.
Why is it important to go beyond ourselves and practice virtues with all communities that we can communicate with across the world?
There is more that unites us than divides us. There are more similarities between us than differences. By recognising that all faiths have many things in common: love for God, love for God’s creation, to bring peace and harmony to the world, to be happy, to live by values and virtues, to be the best version of ourselves.
Tears are the same is a campaign that showcases the common human emotions that unite us whilst celebrating the dignity of difference.
May we all pray for the ability to celebrate the dignity of difference, and remember that ‘Prayers may be different but the tears are the same, the pain is the same.’