Soumitra Subinaya (India) on the Grammar of Conscience

September 7, 2012

“Will you catch me when I fall?”
Yes sister, I shall.
“But you’re white and I’m black
You’re Muslim and I’m Christian
You’re Middle-Eastern and I’m European
You speak Arabic and I speak Bulgarian
You’re rich and I’m poor.”

Worry not, my sister
It matters not what race you have
It matters not what faith you have
It matters not what tongue you speak
It matters not how much you own
Just TRUST me as I TRUST you

Now jump with your eyes closed
When you open your eyes in my arms
See how you’d have opened
The eyes of the whole world around us

As a child when I went to the circus, I always watched the faller-catcher acrobatics keenly. The faller surrendered her life to a catcher twenty feet below her. I realized that the act not only demanded enormous courage from the participants but also unflinching trust in each other and in God, no matter which religion each practiced. After witnessing the 2008 infamous Kandhamal riots between Hindus and Christians at home, I decided to use a risk-negligible variant of the faller-catcher sport with participants from different religions to build inter-faith trust. It has worked well.

There are parallels between Olympic Games and the faller-catcher games. And Olympic values for the twenty-first century are the universal values underlying these faller-catcher games. These values include celebration of trust, cultivation of respect, and effort for excellence. Every game, whether team or individual, played in the Olympics or life, involves trust among humans and trust in God. It involves respect among participants, for the judge, and for the rules of the game. It also involves reward for excellent efforts or karma.

Creative ways for realizing these Olympic values worldwide include:
1. Legal literacy: teach people worldwide the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
2. Inter-faith education: teach the Olympic values of love, respect, trust, and peace underlying all faiths by involving students worldwide in a world scripture campaign and make the world scripture available in various world languages.
3. Teach Olympic values through stories in Braille and sign language.
4. Educate children about Olympic values using cartoon and comics.
5. Global online university of culture: Provide free education online about Olympic values by documenting and providing courses in cultural practices such as peace art, peace music, peace dances, peace architecture, peace sports and peace festivals common to all cultures and religions worldwide.
6. Create Olympic values-related movies and computer games.
7. Enact Good Samaritan laws, and reward invention and community service.
8. Celebrate an “Olympic Values Day” every year with inter-community sports.
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