Not long ago my daughter and I took part in Oneness-Home Peace Run project in Florida, USA. Most of the time we spent presenting Peace Run ideas of oneness and dreams for the bright future to schools, kindergartens, and universities. We didn’t do much running.. But we received many unique experiences with the open hearts we encountered.
I myself used to coordinate Peace Run in Ukraine in the past. Then, I started participating in the 3100 Mile Race that took up most of my free time every summer.. But now, I felt the all-encompassing spirit of Peace Run once again!
Sometimes we remember certain inherent smells of our childhood, home, or parents. And, when sometime later, we encounter that long-forgotten smell somewhere, all the memories come right back. That is exactly what happened here as well – whichever continent the Peace Run takes place on, the spirit of this torch relay is identical – like the smell.
We visited a few of protestant churches and a mosque whose pastors wanted to have us introduce our ideas to the members of their communities. What impressed me was that the services were in different languages, and very different from each other culturally, but a dream of peace and hope for a better future is universal! In a Muslim mosque, there even was a banner that read “Hate for nobody, love for everyone”.
They also shared with us that statistically, up to 60% of Americans have never encountered a Muslim directly. So, most of the things the population knows of Muslims is from the news. But our Peace Run team felt that these people are not only open and hospitable, but also extremely mature spiritually.
In one of the kindergartens we visited, there was also a police officer who represented local authorities for the kids. He asked them, “what do you think our job is?”, and the kids’ immediacy surprised us all: “to give parking tickets!”, “to tow cars”! Maybe that wasn’t the answer he was looking for, but he evened out the situation by saying, “yes, those things we do, but also we are here to ensure your safety. Let us work together!”
When you stand in front of children, there is no way for you not to smile! The kids share their pure hearts, and you yourself start feeling like a child as well. Such a wonderful and positive experience!
Once again we were so fortunate to experience, see, and collect all the dreams for peace of children, teenagers, adults, and elderly alike, from different cultures and nationalities. This is the vision – to unite all dreamers of peace – that the Peace Run founder, Sri Chinmoy, hoped to bring to life.