Embrace Collaboration, Reduce Conflict – Basil Springer Column (April 9, 2023)

Basil Springer

Embrace Collaboration, Reduce Conflict – Basil Springer Column (April 9, 2023)

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 15:5-6

“You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 23:9

“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers.” – Surah Al ‘Imran 3:103

The above quotes from the Bible, Torah and Quran, respectively, remind us of the importance of treating others with respect and kindness, regardless of their background or faith. They promote the values of collaboration, peace and harmony, which are essential for building strong and diverse communities.

With Holy Week coming to a close in the Caribbean, it is an opportune time to reflect on the religious and cultural diversity of the Caribbean.

This is a place where people of different faiths and cultures come together in peace and harmony. While Christianity is the dominant religion in the region, there is a rich tapestry of other beliefs, including Judaism and Islam.

The 2022 and 2023 calendar overlap of Easter, Passover and Ramadan provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate the Abrahamic similarities of these wonderful faiths and to embrace closer collaboration between the different communities that are united in their commonality: spiritual beings on a course to master the human experience, and to return to our heavenly father.

Easter commemorates the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the foundation of the Christian faith. It is a time of renewal and hope, as Christians celebrate the triumph of life over death.

Passover, on the other hand, celebrates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. It is a time of remembrance and gratitude, as Jews give thanks for their freedom and reflect on the importance of family and community.

Ramadan is a month-long fast that commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be unto him). It is a time of spiritual reflection and self-discipline, as Muslims seek to purify themselves and draw closer to God.

Despite their differences, these holy seasons share a common heritage and promote universal values of love, peace and compassion.

They remind us of the importance of faith, family and community, and offer an opportunity to come together in celebration and solidarity.

The Caribbean is a shining example of how people of different backgrounds can coexist in harmony. It is a region where diversity is celebrated, and differences are for the most part respected. In a world that is increasingly polarized and divided, we can all learn from the Caribbean’s example of relative collaboration and peace.

Embracing collaboration and reducing conflict is not just a matter of religious or cultural tolerance; it is a fundamental requirement for the economic and social development of the Caribbean. The region’s multicultural, multiethnic and multireligious character presents unique opportunities for business and trade, as well as for cultural exchange and tourism.

As we reflect on this holy season, let us take stock of the blessings we have and focus on the things that unite us rather than divide us. Let us work together to build a brighter future for all our communities, based on the values of love, compassion, collaboration, peace and harmony.

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  1. Although the spirit of the article is appreciated, it’s not always a good idea to cherry pick verses from the Holy Books. The entire book has to be considered to understand the context. Also, while considering commonalities is important, it is also important at this time of year to consider the different messages of the different religions, questions of life, death, eternity, the meaning of life etc. and perhaps make a decision as to the path one wishes to adopt. All of this can be done without fighting each other. Finally, although the Caribbean does not discriminate much based on race, gender, religion etc., which is commendable, some countries do participate in a bit of political tribalism that hinders development. It would be good if we could maintain cordiality while we respectfully disagree with one another instead of trying to destroy the other side and only have our own friends/team succeed. “A house divided against itself will not stand.”

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