Every year, as Director of Interfaith Scotland, I battle with finding a theme that really speaks to people.  I want a theme that challenges or inspires or at least gets people talking.  The Scottish Government have promoted 2018 as the ‘Year of Young People’ and I was really excited when I noticed that one of the key objectives, identified by young people from across Scotland, was to ‘develop better understanding, co-operation and respect between generations’.  This inspired me to come up with our Scottish Interfaith Week theme for 2018 ‘Connecting Generations’.

I have been privileged to witness over many years the intergenerational work that takes place naturally in diverse places of worship and faith community spaces across Scotland; from all ages sharing food in the Sikh Langer to community worship, celebration and engagement in mosques, synagogues, churches, temples and centres.  Community building is at the heart of religion and so the theme resonated with all of us at Interfaith Scotland who see community at the heart of all that we do.

However it is not just faith communities who see the importance of connecting generations, many individuals and organisations without any religious adherence also recognise the importance of inter-generational engagement.  Scottish Interfaith Week is a great opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate diversity, not just diversity of belief, but the rich diversity of thinking that comes from inter-generational engagement.

The quotes below echo strongly the importance of this theme and we look forward to hearing what you or your community do to ‘connect generations’ during Scottish Interfaith Week 2018

More than anything else, the majority of people want to be happy. All generations at heart want the same things – security, safety, and happiness. When you devalue someone, they shut down. When you value them, you inspire them. (Tim Marshall Foundation)

Understanding each other’s views and values will allow different generations to increase their appreciation of one another. This, in turn, will lead to better communication and collaboration because people are now talking from a sense of appreciation and acknowledgement. (Lablogatory: A Blog for medical professionals)