When an interfaith dialogue takes place, how do we walk the talk? In fact, there’s always a shared topic in every discussion. Every religion proposes methods based on individual belief. For examples, Muslims raise their experiences and solutions; Catholics made their proposals. Buddhists are no exceptions. We’d find common ground and respective differences in the topic. All can work together for the common ground and compromise on the differences. After several exchanges, every party finds a way to smooth over the differences for the same goal. Consequently, more can be achieved from these dialogues.
Trust and rapport play an important element in these exchanges. A certain ex-tent of friendship must be established in order to have a deeper discussion. In particular, we might touch on sensitive topics when raising the ideologies of one’s religion. If trust is lacking, we’d often end up seeing debates on the superiority of religion. A competitive attitude like, “my belief is better than yours” can be seen. That’s why I’ve always used the “make friends” approach on these occasions. By building friendship, they’ve understood our shared objective. Based on that, trust is built. By now, we’ve cherished a friendship that has lasted over the decades. Everyone is openminded for which we find great joy and happiness when communicating.
Our shared belief is “peace”. We must work together with harmony, respect, and humility. Listen to one another. Offer our greatest care for the Earth and mankind. This is the purpose of every dialogue. Everyone communicates patiently when our goal and vision are the same. Because we love people, love peace, love this very planet which we inhabit. We all wish that every religion can lead its followers towards this shared vision.
Religion in general can lead people to learn to give and dedicate - the best form of education for mankind. In Buddhism, it is to serve the community of all beings. Whether you know them personally or not. Take on the spirit of dedicating, loving, and caring. It doesn’t matter how much religious philosophy you know. It is a matter of how much you’re giving yourself to sentient beings.
Besides, we can experience a great brainstorm from learning about different ideologies. Throughout the process, we learn from one another and to reverify our own belief on a deeper level. Then, it’d encourage the fulfillment for the nobility of religious goals. We’d also get to know ourselves better through introspection. Furthermore, we get to reaffirm our faith. I’d say that the biggest gain from interfaith dialogue would be - a better understanding of ourselves.