By Margi Shah (16-17; India/CA)
Hello! Namaskar! Assalamu alaikum! Hai! Pryvit! Guten Morgen!
The place, where the war ends and peace begins is called the Better Understanding for a Better World (BUBW) Conference. My journey to the BUBW Conference started on February 1, 2017 with the hope of finding a new me, the Global Citizen.
Sharing thoughts and ideas with people from 10 different countries broadened my mind. Being able to go to three different religious places on the same day and interact with a representative of each religion; we learned to appreciate different religious perspectives and beliefs. We better understood religious conflicts going on between different countries with a global perspective. We all shared the feeling of being children of the same Mother Earth. This conference was an eye opening experience and now I can’t imagine my life without BUBW.
The thing I learned in this conference can be best quoted in the words of John Hume, philosopher, and co-recipient of 1988 Nobel Peace Prize:
“Difference is the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. Therein lies the most fundamental principle for peace: respect for diversity.”
There are 195 countries in this world. Each has their own culture, way of doing things, way of living, thinking, expressing themselves, etc. These differences don’t make one country better or worse than other. It just makes them different. Unique.
Apart from learning the lessons of life, we were also given the chance to visit the Disney World in Orlando, FL. We had a few of our sessions conducted in the park, but most of the time we were allowed to explore ourselves. This world famous- “heaven on the earth” tells you the story behind its unbelievable success – “Perfection” and as Mohammed Bashar Arafat; organizer of the BUBW Conference, says, “Perfection is a key to success.” Everything was so perfectly executed, so well displayed and so beautifully narrated by its surroundings and props, such that I felt as if I were in a magical place. It was just incredible!
I came to the conference with nothing except the will to learn something new. When I left the conference, I had an International perspective, I became a Global Citizen in a real sense. I now have friends from 10 different countries. The gaps between different religions were truly bridged in my mind and soul. Before attending the conference, according to me, this world was a complex mess, but now, this world seems like more of a puzzle. It can be difficult to put together, but it is not impossible and I the youth, the future of this world, will surely solve this puzzle.
I would now like to conclude by saying, the conference is over ‘only’ in Orlando, but its mission of better understanding for better world has just begun. Can’t wait for BUBW in India.
“East or West, BUBW is the best.”