Carrie Varjavandi joined the Chaplaincy team last year. She is a a design graduate from DJCAD, and most of her career has been in arts education, including 3 years spent in China.
I am a Baha’i, and part of my faith teaches Baha’is to “consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship”. I worked for Interfaith Scotland and volunteer with Dundee Interfaith Association, now known as Faith and Belief Dundee and Tayside. My work for the Chaplaincy covers interfaith too, which is appropriate given the diversity of beliefs represented in the University community, and pre Covid19 there were regular meetings held in the Chaplaincy for people interested in interfaith dialogue.
That people of faith can come together and learn from each other is one aspect of achieving unity, a vital prerequisite to any lasting peace. Recognition of the oneness of the entire human race is even more important if we are to create a future free from racism. The teachings of the Baha’i Faith describe the different races as being like the flowers of one garden with the differences of colour, shape and fragrance enhancing the beauty of the garden.
Over 100 years ago, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, son of Baha’u’llah the founder of the Baha’i Faith, said:
“The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord. If you meet those of different race and colour from yourself, do not mistrust them and withdraw yourself into your shell of conventionality, but rather be glad and show them kindness. Think of them as different coloured roses growing in the beautiful garden of humanity, and rejoice to be among them.”
This vision of the oneness of the human family is even more relevant now, as the blight of racism still infects many lives and communities. Be roses in the garden of humanity and rejoice in your differences.