Terrorism, shootings, war—it’s become commonplace to hear of these things day after day in a stream of news. Yet, there is a group of people determined to bring people together despite differences of race, color and creed. It all happened at the International Day of Friendship in the community hall of the Nashville Church of Scientology.
International Day of Friendship is an annual observance, dignified in 2011 by the United Nations General Assembly with the idea that “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities,” according to un.org. The resolution emphasizes that young people, as future leaders, can be brought together in activities with different cultures. This promotes international understanding and respect for diversity.
The Church of Scientology held its third annual dialogue for the day on August 1st, with community leaders and members coming together to participate. Organizers called for participation from the myriad ethnicities and nationalities that make up the diverse city of Nashville, and held an “International Potluck” as part of the event. “The whole point was to bring a diverse group of people together and demonstrate the power of intentional friendship,” says Rev. Brian Fesler, pastor of the Church of Scientology.
“Most of life’s problems come from a basic misunderstanding of each other, a misunderstanding of intentions. Getting along with one another starts with getting to know one another,” he says.
The Church of Scientology partnered in this effort with The Way To Happiness Association of Tennessee (TWTH-TN). TWTH-TN provides a community betterment program based on the book The Way To Happiness by L. Ron Hubbard. The program is predicated on the fact that one’s survival depends on the survival of others—and that without the survival of others, neither joy nor happiness are attainable. Several concepts in the book promote dialogue and friendship. Among them, “Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others,” “Be Worthy of Trust,” and “Try to Treat Others As You Would Want them to Treat You.”
For more information on the Church of Scientology, its programs or upcoming events, visit scientology-ccnashville.org.