By Karen Berg
Tolerance across our differences, mutual respect because there's a spark of the Creator in all of us and shared responsibility to make our world a better place: these are values Dr. Jehan Sadat and I discussed last week in London to an audience of more than 500. Although the conference was planned more than eight months ago, given the recent uprising in Egypt, our event could not have materialized at a more relevant time.
I invited Dr. Sadat to join me for a conference on the Power of Peace, and it was a great honor to hear her talk on a topic that is her beloved husband's legacy. The core idea, which will remain alive well beyond the conference, is that positive action taken by each one of us individually paves a pathway to positive global change. We are the peacekeepers. You and me, and "they." It is up to us, in our daily lives, to be aware of our own intolerances. When we disagree -- in politics, in business, in our relationships -- we need to give the other person the space to live and worship safely. Whether those across the table from us pray to a different god, speak a different language, or vote for a different candidate, their right to do so is indisputable.
Dr. Sadat and I are so different on the surface. But on closer inspection, our similarities are striking. We are women from the same generation, the wives of men who took a stand against the traditional establishment and created change against all odds. Destiny pushed us to step-up to the position of leadership and we find ourselves driving the same message forward: The power to change the world starts one person at a time. This choice to come together to celebrate our likenesses and honor our differences is what I refer to as Global Spirituality.
The winds of change are upon us now. The voice of the people must be heard. Oppression cannot co-exist with human dignity. The time is ripe for us to fulfil our spiritual purpose and to return to our original wholeness as one soul, encompassing all our differences and individual uniqueness. More and more people are opening up to view the world in this interconnected way. What was a grassroots peace movement 30 or 40 years ago has now become mainstream.
Dr. Sadat is compassionate to Israel. "I understand your concern. I know you are nervous about the new movement to democracy. But don't be." Her words calmed the turbulent waters as she affirmed that the peace treaty her husband pioneered with Egypt will be honored.
There is no time like the present for everyone to come together. Like the single strands of a rope interwoven together, we will be strong enough to pull ourselves out of darkness.