There are not many subjects I look back on from my school days and think – I wished I had paid more attention. However, one topic where I feel that is very pertinent is Religious Education. Spring is a time of year that is jam packed with a range of key religious moments and I feel my knowledge is nowhere near where it needs to be. I strongly believe that cultural intelligence is an important component of the inclusive leaders toolbox. When blended with emotional intelligence it enables you to effectively support and understand your colleagues from a broad range of cultural backgrounds. I will explore cultural intelligence in more depth in a future blog but for today I am focussing on faith and how important it is to build a personal understanding of different faiths, key moments and religious practices.
I had originally intended this as a pre Easter blog but Sewell put pay to that. So this week is a lighter focus on religion and faith and what better way to do this than through a quiz? I have placed hyperlinks to sources for further information, if like me you feel the need to broaden your knowledge.
- On which day of the week does Ascension Day always fall and how many days after Easter Sunday does it take place?
- Why do people of the Jewish faith light candles on Yom Hashoah?
- How long does Ramadan last and how many fundamental principles are there?
- In the Hindu faith Shivratri occurs on the 14th day of every lunar month. Maha Shivaratri has the most spiritual significance why is this?
- Baisakhi is a festival that marks the Rabi harvest and coincides with the solar equinox usually on the 13th April but what happens every 36 years
In writing this piece I sought to find out more about Baha’i. It is without question the faith I know least about and from my initial reading I think there is a focus on daily prayer and ritual rather that significant focal points. I was struck by the belief that “throughout history, God has sent to humanity a series of divine Educators—known as Manifestations of God—whose teachings have provided the basis for the advancement of civilization. These Manifestations have included Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. Bahá’u’lláh, the latest of these Messengers, explained that the religions of the world come from the same Source and are in essence successive chapters of one religion from God.”
The important thing to highlight is that these dates have special meaning to people holding these faiths. This may mean that there daily routine is impacted as they make adjustments to allow for fasting, prayer or meditation. Awareness of these special moments will enable you to better support colleagues and friends and be mindful of how they may choose mark these days. I know I have to get much better at this – but #ImNotTired.