Peace always begins with each one of us.
Here is a part of my speech, the same speech is given to all audiences, this one was tailored to a Muslim gathering.
Would you pledge to yourselves, that when some one highlights the differences, you would say, " the differences are God given" so is the "free will" and as an individual I am committed to peace for myself and peace for all, that is what religion is all about.
God guides me to know each other, so together we can create a kingdom of peace for all the 6.6 billion of us. I understand that my safety hinges on safety of others that surround me, and I cannot have peace when others around me aren't peaceful.
Would you further pledge that, " I would resist all temptations to mis-represent the otherness of other traditions. No matter what any one tries to get me to say negatively about other traditions or faith for that matter. I will refrain from talking ill about others, as I do not know the whole truth" If I do talk about other traditions, I will put my own integrity on line, and present them as though they would present it, I will resist the temptation to make their tradition look bad and mine look better.
No matter where I go, I want people to see me as a peace maker, a religious woman or a man, some one who is bent on mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill. I don't want people to be afraid of a Muslim or his beard or her Hijab, instead they should say OMG, here comes a Muslim, a peace maker, the truthful, the trustworthy and the Amin." This was the model of peace created by the Prophet and I will do my best to follow that model.
When you are at peace, you don't keep scores on what good others are doing, you just do your dharma and leave the fruit to the creator, when you are at peace, your anxiety to have, to know, to see results deadens, but hope emerges instead without anxiety.
Mike Ghouse.a conflict mitigator and goodwill nurturer.