Parliament of World Religions ReportApril 14, 2015
Truly, an Amazing Faiths Dinner DialogueApril 16, 2015
Last Thursday was the Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogue. It was a few days ago now, but Iâ€™m still thinking about itâ€”about the stories I heard and the people I met. Dinner was wonderful. I ate the best lentil soup of my life, but it wasnâ€™t the food that made Thursday unforgettable. It was the community I saw in Wichita. I was honored to dine with a group of truly genuine people who were interested in learning more about each other.
The forum was organized to give everyone a chance to share. When a guest shared, others were asked to listen without responding. And that gave the evening a really inviting tone. Instead of listening to respond, we were listening to learn. It helped us all engage with one another and connect in a way that other discussion structures donâ€™t encourage. Instead of pointing out differences or interjecting with our opinions, we listened to each otherâ€™s experiences and found ourselves focusing on all those things that make us the same.
By the time we reached the free discussion part of the evening, we were actively inquiring about traditions we were unfamiliar with or asking questions about othersâ€™ experiences. We didnâ€™t want to talk more about ourselves. We wanted to learn more about everyone else. People were exchanging numbers and emails. People made friends here with people very different from themselves.
I think the thing that made the biggest impression on me was the eagerness everyone had. The eagerness to learn more about each other and the eagerness each person had to make their community a better place. It was all very selfless. I hope the impression sticks with me and encourages me every day to consider people before I make my decisions.
Iâ€™m already looking forward to next yearâ€™s dinner. This was the first time Iâ€™d ever been to an interfaith dinner. It helped me see Wichita in a whole new way.