C O L O U R
Perhaps more of you would click to one of those titles, perhaps less. I chose COLOUR because along with all the other C's we, the citizens of the world, are a melting pot of "colours" who come together to share those values and attributes above. Or we at least strive to.
I spent my morning taking photographs of the annual Festival of Chariots parade. It is part of the International Hare Krishna movement and parades take place in over 100 cities worldwide. What struck me the most is the absolute sense of community and acceptance you are left with. As the parade participants walk past, the spectators are encouraged to either join the walk with them, or meet at the festival grounds for a meal and to take in some of their culture and passion and join in the festivities. Nobody is excluded. I did a brief bit of reading for this piece and one thing I did pick up was this which I will quote directly from Wikipedia :
ISKCON has inspired, and sometimes sponsored, a project called Food for Life. The goal of the project is to "liberally distribute pure vegetarian meals (prasadam) throughout the world", as inspired by Bhaktivedanta Swami's instruction, given to his disciples in 1974, "No one within ten miles of a temple should go hungry . . . I want you to immediately begin serving food". T
Tying it back to my other C words - community and charity. Although there is food for sale at the festival grounds one of the biggest parts of this festival is the amount of free food which is shared with the community. All done willing and with love, with a smile and from people that have been working on their feet tirelessly for hours. That is commitment to giving back to the community.
This weekend also marks Easter on the Christian calendar and the Jewish community is celebrating Passover. And millions of children the world over are going to be out in their gardens hunting for chocolate eggs and bunnies and wondering what the hell chickens and rabbits have to do with Easter... sadly if they wonder at all...
It is a melting pot of "colours" that make up this world. Different beliefs in every corner of the globe. There are thousands of festivals I will never get to hear of simply because they are specific and unique to certain communities. I do my best to try and read up on them if I come across any interesting links in articles or books. Religions and how we practise them are also different. Today the Hare Krishna's were out in force, chanting, dancing and celebrating. The more reserved Westernised Catholic would have been at a more sedately conducted service. It doesn't make it any less meaningful - it just makes it different. And we should all learn to celebrate those differences.
The world we live in is filled with intolerance - pick a subject and somebody will find fault. We need to change that mindset. We need to become a culture of tolerance. No a Christian will not become a practising Muslim but it will hurt neither to read from each others scriptures and engage in conversation with each other and understanding of each other. Agree to disagree if you must but at least communicate with each other.
Again I use words from yesterday - you may not be able to help 100 but you can help 1. That is charity and community. Underneath all those colours that make the world go round in ALL of us our blood runs red, our brains fire on the same nervous system and our hearts beat the same rhythm.
Celebrate the different colours but fill the circle of community around each other with love and acceptance.