By Tahil Sharma
Student, University of LaVerne
Youth Representative of the Parliament of the World’s Religions
United Nations DPI-NGO,
My selection to represent the Parliament at the United Nations DPI-NGO began with a mutual understanding of a global ethic, exercised in every action taking place in the interfaith movement. My strides as an activist for peace, understanding and the basic rights of every individual have now evolved, creating a rippling effect that will hopefully impact future generations of youth and numerous communities across the spectrum of religious and secular thought.
What I considered just random acts of kindness, doing what’s right, is becoming now the basis of an international message of diversity, inclusion and service for all mankind.
Sharing the Compassionate Atlanta Festival with the Parliament
Until recently, being selected for this opportunity seemed like a distant dream that I never thought would become a reality.
After finally treading on Georgian ground, absorbing the kindness and history in Atlanta and at Morehouse College, reality sank it in the most beautiful and unbelievable way. From meeting the grandson of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Vice President of Soka Gakkai, Charter for Compassion author Dr. Karen Armstrong and the esteemed Board of Trustees of the Parliament, my motivation for equality and justice was renewed.
From seeing the spectrum of people, lawyers and educators, politicians and clergymen, even fellow activists and lovers of the world, I began to realize that those small acts towards building community and helping the less fortunate which began in a small Southern California town were given consideration by such an inspiring group of people. It became clear that nothing now, nor ever, would prevent me from continuing to make the difference that I can in this world.
The value of every human and the innateness of compassion and empathy within us is what compels me to defend all living creatures that tread this Earth- and to cherish this reality for all it has given and taught us. Our small acts of kindness can make the biggest impact on so many people.
And that’s the sort of positive change that will make a difference in the world we perceive and the world we wish to leave with our posterity.
Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia
Above Right: Tahil Sharma is one of two Youth Representatives of the Parliament to the UN DPI-NGO. Reflecting on a visit with Board Trustees during meetings held in Atlanta, Sharma says he’s never been so committed to living out his interfaith convictions.