Tuesday, February 23, 2016


In March 2016, the Art of Living Foundation will celebrate its 35 years in service. The world would witness a unique gathering of 3.5 million people from more than 150 countries in Delhi, India. At the World Culture Festival (#WCF2016), people would enjoy ethnic performances from different parts of the world, inspiring speeches by influential leaders and guided meditations by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Besides, the festival will also host the Global Leadership Forum- a conference for influential business leaders to share their experiences. Imagine the meditative silence by millions of people spread over 1000 acres of land! How much positivity should it generate? This has never occurred before.

However, many people still have a question- why are we doing it? Does the Art of Living wish to demonstrate its reach? But let me ask a reverse question once- Why shouldn't we do it? Isn't it something different and good? Otherwise, life becomes such a routine! We have our jobs on the weekdays and friends, movies or malls on the weekends. Is there something more that can make life further beautiful and uplifting? To grow as a human, we need to move our cheese. Add to that, service- an act for others' good.

Now, all of us must have done some selfless act in the past. Let's take our memory there. Was the experience fulfilling? For some instances during that act, did our worries and insecurities disappear? If the answer is yes, then what stops us from doing it more often? It's the pattern that we have been nurtured with since we were children which makes acts like service a rare occurrence in our lives. This is true for the masses throughout the world. And this is precisely the reason why the world faces so many troubles today.

A good man is normally a 'common' man. His interest in society is mostly limited to updating himself through the news, magazines or internet in leisure time. Are we useful enough for this earth? And look at a terrorist. Isn't his commitment, discipline and sacrifice for his cause very intense? It's very clear why only a handful of committed evil people are enough to create disturbance. We, the good people, are creating a world for our children where the trees would be scanty, the rivers polluted, the rhythm of seasons disturbed, the food with poison and the world with conflicts over differences. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says that a little bit of service by every individual is all that is needed to make the world better.

It's quite easy to doubt the intentions of the World Culture Festival. But doubts arise only about good things. To awaken billions of individuals across the globe from their routines, a huge bang is needed. Billions from every part of the world will think about accepting differences in beliefs when millions come together at one place. It's time to recognize that this world is one big family, that we can all co-exist with harmony, that it's time to make service a new routine, that it's time to protect our society and our environment.

And with you, there is a hope. That you will contribute to make this happen. That you will come to Delhi in March for the World Culture Festival and be a witness. Witness to something that promises a change. A change for more beautiful tomorrow. Your presence is needed. You are needed. To transform the dream of a more wonderful and violence free earth into reality. This time, let's come together!

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