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News / Peace and Reconciliation in World Traditions

Peace and Reconciliation in World Traditions

Blog / Interfaith Voices

F&BF

13 / 05 / 22

How to achieve peace and reconciliation is a question on everyone’s mind right now, across the globe. Below are two articles from guest writers – one Sikh, one Christian – on their faith’s stances on dealing with conflicts and achieving harmony. Read below to find out what different world traditions say on the topic.

Sikhi Teachings on Peace and Reconciliation

by Ishpal Kaur

In life, conflicts happen all the time, but how, do we deal with them? Our thoughts, speech, and actions define how we are perceived and how our character is personified, and in such situations reaching out to our beliefs and values, can really help with how we try to compose ourselves. In the Sikh faith, it is always best to resolve things implacably, however, if all means fail, fighting for our rights is righteous, and completely just. We are always learning, even from our mistakes, and reflecting upon our own actions, can help us become more self aware.

In Sikhi, there are many stories that teach and inspire peace and reconciliation. Guru Nanak, the Sikh’s first Guru, taught many, near and far, that everything and everyone, comes from only one entity, God. They are the creator, the sustainer, and the destroyer. They are the ‘One’ that provides for us all.

There is so much that can be done by communities and individuals to help and influence positive change within societies. It can start with us. To prompt positivity amongst all, we can try to implement love, compassion, and the freedom of diversity within ourselves, starting with how we behave and perceive the world.

Faith can move mountains. Where there is faith, the possibilities are endless.

About the author: Ishpal Kaur is a new and upcoming publisher. Graduating with a BA (Hons) 2.1 Graphic Information Design Degree, and with several years of design experience, Ishpal Kaur wanted to utilise her creative skills and design engaging, and educational, learning resources. From a very young age, Ishpal Kaur knew art was the career path she wanted to take. Her creative journey initially started within the fine arts sector to then find herself later, falling in love with digital art. In recent years she has gone onto creating several Sikhi inspired books and religious portraits of the Sikh Gurus. Visit her website here.


Parable of the Prodigal Son – Peace and Reconciliation

by Sr. Dr. Teresa Joseph FMA

Eager to embrace his son

The story of the merciful Father narrated by Jesus, commonly known as the parable of the prodigal son from my catholic tradition inspires me to work for peace.

Dad can I have my share of…

What triggered this request from the younger son is not much known. All that the readers are told is that his dad was undoubtedly generous and gracious. Joyfully and briskly the son embarked upon a journey, spent everything and finally sense hits his being: “in my father’s house…

Truly my son will return

The kind of upbringing was such that the father was convinced that his son will return. His gaze fixed on the road, his heart all prepared for that unconditional love that only a father/mother are capable of bestowing upon their children. His words were powerful and love-filled; they were words that spoke of peace, reconciliation and apt for conflict resolution.

Hurry let us celebrate

Yes, it is the father of the house who kick-starts the big feast: the best of clothes, the finest ring, the fatted calf and what not? Everyone is on their feet and the ambient is set to welcome the son in a way that only the father knows.

Why all this?

Friends, a little of selfishness, little of misunderstanding, little of narrow mindedness are enough to light the fire of conflict and break peace. Why all this? What about me who was always here at home?

Son all I have is yours

Caught up in his own busy world, the elder son was not aware that all his father has was his. An abundance mentality makes one aware that there is plenty in abundance for all. To reach up to this profound awareness one needs to have a deep sense of belonging and the grace to read even the finest expressions of love that is shared: in the family, society and world at large.

This son of mine was lost

The father in this parable must have spent sleepless nights as this particular son of his was lost. Applying this to peace building, it is more than evident that the nobility of heart is the foundation stone on which peace is built with the bricks of generosity of heart and true compassion for the other.

Peace from a believer’s perspective

At the core of every religion there is love, peace goodness and beauty. The human being is made just to contemplate and bask in the richness of it all. Peace from a believer’s perspective is a challenge and a strong invitation to bring in the best from one’s religion to the common table where we meet as friends to let others know that we care so we share.

Speed up initiatives of peace and reconciliation

From an interdisciplinary and inter-religious perspective, we need to speed up initiatives of peace and reconciliation. In my simple and humble efforts to work for peace, the parable of the merciful father has inspired me much:

  1. To do the utmost to restore dignity of every human person
  2. To go beyond the logic of human reasoning and fault-finding when a person has gone a bit far for whatever reason may be…
  3. Together to create an atmosphere of love, peace and celebration
  4. To be a mover and shaker to generate life in abundance irrespective of caste, creed, religion etc.
  5. To believe in the power of education that transforms the mind and heart though writings, sessions, seminars, encounters etc.

Together builders of peace and harmony

In my mission as an educator, I had the joy of working with teachers, parents, youngsters and students through seminars and sessions on peace and harmony. Believe me; I had learnt the magic power of “Together.” My brother, sister next to me is longing for peace and harmony as much as I am. Yes, truly together we can be builders of peace and harmony and generators of authentic life.

About the author: Sr. Dr. Teresa Joseph FMA is a Salesian Sister, visiting professor and resource person in Bombay, India. With extensive academic work from universities in Rome, she has taught university courses, held national, diocesan and congregational offices, revised catechetical texts, was member of the drafting committee of the Indian National Catechetical Directory and launched many creative programs for teachers, parents and students. Currently, she is animator of the community at Auxilium Welfare Centre, Koregaon Park, Pune. She takes every opportunity to work with children who live in the streets. She is the author of the bestselling book Dream Big Dream True which has sold more than 25000 copies in English. 

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