I grew up in a strong evangelical Christian Church in Wales. My first job was in a school in Woking, where I taught some students from other cultures. I finished my career teaching in Brent, which was the second most multi-ethnic London Borough at the time. I soon realised that there is a lot to learn from others, even though they look different and act differently to us. Jesus told us to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ Luke 10:27. I learn that other faiths also have wisdom that a Christian can accept which can enhance their faith and belief in God.
For example, the thirteenth century Persian Poet Rumi's answer to questions asked by a disciple -
What is Poison? He replied with a beautiful answer - Anything which is more than our necessity is Poison. It may be Power, Wealth, Hunger, Ego, Greed, Laziness, Love, Ambition, Hate or anything.
What is fear? Non acceptance of uncertainty. If we accept that uncertainty, it becomes adventure...!
What is envy? Non acceptance of good in others If we accept that good, it becomes inspiration...!
What is Anger? Non acceptance of things which are beyond our control. If we accept, it becomes tolerance...!
What is hatred? Non acceptance of person as he is. If we accept person unconditionally, it becomes love...!
So, we are back to loving others as a way to being tolerant, accepting of others’ differences and living in peace and harmony.
Marian Nash, member of the Christian faith
Date: Monday 14th June 2021