We live in an incredibly diverse world. With the now 7 billion humans who inhabit this little blue world we call our own, there is bound to be diversity among us, even in comparison to the people with whom we associate on a daily basis. When I think about that fact, I find it so beautiful. However, too often this diversity turns to something ugly.
I’ve recently come back to work after roughly four days at Interfaith Youth Core’s (IFYC) Interfaith Leadership Institute (ILI) at DePaul University in Chicago. What an amazing experience!
It’s been a busy month at IFYC. We recently wrapped up one of our summer Interfaith Leadership Institutes (ILIs) in Chicago, and are heading off to Philadelphia for our next one in a few weeks.
“For over two hundred years, Americans of all faiths have come together, put their shoulders to the wheel of history, and made this country what it is today. And I know that as we go forward, it’s going to take all of us – Christian and Jew, Hindu and Muslim, believer and non-believer – to meet the challenges of the 21st century”- Barack Obama
Part of my philosophical search for truth pushes me to attempt to understand the nature of love. The intensity of that search comes from the love I’ve experienced in sincere and devotional relationships. These personal and individual relationships are the glue that binds members of Interfaith Youth Core and interfaith advocates worldwide. Along the lines of Martin Buber, the world must realize the detriment of the I-It relationship and strive for the I-Thou relationship.
What do Capital University, Transylvania University, Concordia College, Benedictine University, Gustavus College, Stetson University, Albion College and Lake Forest College all have in common? Six months ago, I hadn’t heard of any of them. Today, however, I can proudly say that I have friends at each one. In fact, in the last six months, I’ve met people at almost fifty colleges and universities across the United States. I have been incredibly blessed to know each and every one, and I count many of them among my closest friends.