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  Interfaith Unity 

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LINKS TO ESSAYS 

RELIGION IN PUBLIC LIFE:  GLOBALISATION FOR THE COMMON GOOD 

GUIDELINES FOR ARRANGING GROUP VISITS TO HOUSES OF WORSHIP

POVERTY REDUCTION IN QUEBEC & NOW ONTARIO

The Golden Rule in World Religions

THE GOLDEN RULE POSTER Multi-faith Sacred Writings and Symbols from 13 Traditions  

Mayor David Miller Meets With The Toronto Area Interfaith Council

TRANSFORMING DEVELOPMENT Exploring Approaches to Development from Religious Perspectives

IMPRESSIONS ON THE URI ASIA REGIONAL ASSEMBLY in New Delhi, India

AN ODYSSEY IN FAITH By Farzana Hassan

A SALUTE TO CANADA My Adopted Land Of Unparalleled Multicultural And Religious Diversity

NAIN GATHERS IN VANCOUVER Stealing away to Paradise 

THE GOLDEN RULE: Unity in Diversity  

 

  

 

 
Essay Rev. Leslie Mezei

Rev. Leslie Mezei receives Golden Rule
Ambassador Award

By:  Paul McKenna / Scarboro Interfaith Desk
Scarboro Missions has responded to the inspiration of the Interfaith Peace Initiative in Ethiopia which is encouraging organizations around the world to recognize Golden Rule Ambassadors for Peace among their constituencies.
On May 23, Scarboro Missions honoured the long-standing interfaith commitment of Leslie Gabriel Mezei with a Golden Rule Ambassador Award.
Rev. Leslie Gabriel Mezei is a survivor of the World War II Holocaust in his native Hungary.

A follower of a universal Sufi spiritual path, Leslie is an interfaith minister who regularly conducts The Universal Worship Service. A peace promoter and a multi-faith educator, Leslie has made a major contribution to interfaith networking in the Greater Toronto Area. Leslie has also made an enormous contribution to the interfaith work of Scarboro Missions.
The award ceremony took place on May 23, 06 at the end of an interfaith educational event, entitled "Exploring Interfaith Marriage" at Scarboro Missions.

 

The Golden Rule: Unity in Diversity 

By Leslie Mezei

Rev. Leslie Gabriel Mezei is an interfaith minister of the Universal Worship Service, and Publisher of the Interfaith Unity Newsletter, www.interfaithunity.ca. A survivor of the Holocaust of the Second World War, he embraces all genuine spiritual, religious and humanitarian expressions. The following is his acceptance of the first Golden Rule Ambassador of Peace Award from Scarboro Missions in Toronto, Canada.

Why does the Scarboro Missions Golden Rule Poster work? Great works of art engage people on many levels. On the poster we have the Golden Rule as expressed in so many sacred traditions. To quote the Buddhist tradition: “Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” This statement is practical: we should care about each other, look after each other. On a deeper level, we should do this because, as it says in many faith traditions: “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” And on an even more basic level: “Because thy neighbour is thyself.” A fundamental unity in diversity is echoed by all spiritual paths. And on the golden rule poster, the symbols of these varied spiritual paths embrace our world in a protective halo.

Where is the international interfaith movement going? Many say that the interfaith movement has just begun to build a base for the future. Some of us are also participating in inter-spiritual activities, in which we can experience and practice the basic spiritual practices of each other’s traditions. Recently, I spent a month at an ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas in India. During that time, it was brought home to me that spiritual insights through the inner path of meditation came first and the organized religions later, rather than the other way around. The sages devoted their lives to sitting in the caves so as to open themselves to the deepest messages that come from within. And at that inner spiritual level we indeed are all one and can participate together.

How do we use the Golden Rule poster as an instrument for peace around the world? Let’s begin with education. The Golden Rule must become a part of the education of children, giving them values that many of them are ready to receive. Let us spread the golden rule message throughout all our institutions. Let us quote, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” as we engage in social action, in helping to deal with racism, discrimination and inequality.

We have to broaden our faith to include our whole being, inner and outer, otherworldly and this-worldly, and acknowledge our interdependence with our whole environment. We need to recognize how amazing existence is, and accept that most of being is a mystery. Our calling is to translate our gratitude for that precious life into the service of all beings, especially those least advantaged.

For true peace, we have to come to a peace within ourselves and move from tolerance for differences to acceptance, and then to respect for the wonderful diversity that each of us exhibits, and finally to enjoyment of the diversity and celebration of it. The official motto of the City of Toronto—my home—is “Diversity Our Strength.”

Rabbi Michael Lerner, founder of the Tikkun movement, is calling us all to make a “spiritual covenant” on the political scene, to revitalize us from a tired, ineffective liberalism and an increasingly cynical and reactionary conservatism. Although he is talking specifically about the United States, a new vision is needed everywhere. He says: “We will create a society that promotes, rather than undermines, loving and caring relationships and families. We will challenge the materialism and selfishness (often rooted in the dynamics of a competitive marketplace) that undermine loving relationships and family life.”

Loving and caring relationships, that is what the Golden Rule is about. I am optimistic. In spite of reactionary resistance in some quarters, the current ferment not only between civilizations and faith groups but especially within them will in the long run lead to the progressive renewal that all our institutions need from time to time.

And how can the Golden Rule become a symbol for this important goal of unity in diversity? We are witnessing the beginnings of an international Golden Rule movement. The people of Ethiopia have inspired us to appoint Golden Rule ambassadors for peace around the world. I look forward to linking hands with these ambassadors and their associates from other countries, and with future ones from here and elsewhere, for our common work toward peace on Earth. A number of admirable organizations have arisen after the lead of Doctors Without Borders. What we need is a Golden Rule Without Borders organization, to promote unity in diversity everywhere, to care for each other, to bring real peace.

 


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