MEPI-2010 Interfaith Greetings
MEPI-2010 Interfaith Greetings
40th Middle East Peace Initiative, August 20-24, 2010
by Mike Ghouse

The world we face is very diverse, completely different than what we face in our circles on a daily basis.
God loves us all and through the spiritual masters he has communicated to us how to live a life of balance with oneself and with others.

We have to learn to live with each other with our differences. God has deliberately created diversity and tests us how we fare and how we deal with it. You have your own unique thumb print, your own DNA combination; we have to become a catalyst for a positive change to maintain social cohesion for peaceful co-existence.

I am pleased to share with you the first thing about religious diversity with a common theme that starts with the greetings.

Every society, every tradition and every religion has designed Greetings and it hold three critical components; i) Acknowledgment of the other, ii) Extending a hand of friendship and iii) seek to establish a relationship.

Every greeting seeks to condition each other by using the phrases such as “Namaste” the essence of which invokes the goodness in other to connect with the goodness in me. The Abrahamic faiths actually use the word peace in their greetings; Shalom, Peace and Salaam and all other traditions included similar elements of peace and goodwill. May you be drenched in peace, soaked in peace and talk and act peace; Amen!

I will share a few greetings and you are welcome to repeat after me loudly, quietly or you don’t have to do anything. There are more, but due to the time constraints we will let the nine greetings represent all.

1.Baha’i faith – Allahabho
2.Buddhism – Buddha Namo
3.Christian – Peace to you
4.Hinduism – Namaste
5.Islam - Salaam
6.Jainism – Jai Jinendra
7.Judaism – Shalom
8.Sikh – Satsri Akaal
9.Zoroastrian – Hamazor Hama Asho Bed

Now let’s pray:
Causer of the universe and creator of the cosmos, please accept our gratitude in every name we call upon you; be it Ahura Mazda, Wahe Guru, Ishwar, Buddha, Allah, Yahweh or Jesus Christ.

Guide us to do the right thing every moment of the day

Guide us to open our hearts and minds to fellow beings

Guide us to shed the arrogance and bring humility to us

Guide us to learn to respect everywhich way one worships you.

Guide us to become conflict mitigaters

Guide us to become goodwill nurturers

Guide us to say, act and think goodness

Amen.

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Theme of the Conference: Interfaith, the United Nations and Peace in the 21st Century. Middle East Peace Initiative by the Universal Peace Federation, an organization of Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon. www.UPF.Org
This initiative is yielding results, a former Israeli Senator, Christian Member of the Palestinian Authority and 4 times elected Jerusalem Councilman delivered hopeful messages. It was a blessing to see the Palestinians and Israelis come together and talk about finding lasting solutions. A small portion of the divisive wall has come down and each one asserted that 70% of the Israeli and Palestinian populations want peace; together we all need to galvanize efforts to give momentum to peace.

Prayers for politicians – I suggest that every politician in Israeli and Palestinian governments be asked to start their day by looking in to the eyes of the Palestinian and Israeli children and ask themselves, what kind of future they want to give to these kids? Should the future generation call them criminals for not giving hope and security to these children? Should the public measure the success of the politicians on the scale of what they create or what they destroy? It is time for the public to take responsibility and dump those who do not improve their lot. Each people have to remember that one cannot have peace if the others do not have it.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and writer on Pluralism and Islam offering Pluralistic solutions to the public and the media on issues of the day. This trip was taken as an Ambassador for peace of the Universal Peace Federation www.upf.org Mike’s work is encapsulated in 22 blogs and 3 websites listed at www.MikeGhouse.net
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