Like me, I am sure you have seen World Religion Day populate into your mobile/online calendar, but have you ever wondered about it? Why do we celebrate World Religion Day, and moreover, HOW do we celebrate it?
As I reflect on the past swath of holidays and contemplate what World Religion Day means, I am struck by the commonalities people of different faiths share. I think most folks tend to focus on the differences between faiths, but have you ever noticed that all religions have writings that promote peace or a variance of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”?
During my formative years I was raised by a single mother who was extremely active in her faith until her late teens when she began questioning some of the teachings. Rather than finding harmony between her thoughts and the church’s, she severed ties and made the conscientious decision to raise her children without a faith-based belief system, instead allowing us to seek out our own truth(s), thus making our own religious commitments.
Fast forward several years when my father died, I was 15 years of age. As you can imagine, it was a devastating event. During this time, my thoughts and feelings teeter-tottered between wishing I had been raised with some ideas about life and death, tenets with which to find comfort. Other times, I would get so angry, I denounced the idea of a greater being at all.
Years later, I would begin a lifelong journey to investigate and learn about other people’s belief systems. As stated above in my reflection of the holidays, I become more and more convinced that our different faiths are built upon beliefs which are more similar then dissimilar. World Religion Day was created for the purpose of a safe place to learn about other religions and through the learning process to understand our similarities.
Born from the people of the Baha’I Faith, with tenets based on unity of religion and mankind, World Religion Day has been celebrated on the third Sunday of January since 1950. Its aim is towards peace, reflection, and understanding of historical differences so we can come together to make a better world.
So again I ask, have you ever wondered about that auto-populated holiday in your mobile calendars? Well now is the time to dig deeper. What else can you find that we have in common? What else can you find that unites us?
This blog was written by ORIGO Education staff member Andrea Kotowski (Learning Services Educator in Sales Intelligence).
This blog is part of ORIGO Education’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and acknowledging diversity and inclusion within the workplace.