Letter: Start dialogue to learn from tragedy



We have so much to learn — about and from one another. The recent fire at the Vancouver Sikh temple, whether an accident or arson, affords us the opportunity to look inward, examine our values, and engage one another in a constructive and long-overdue discussion about religions and cultures — and the various political agendas that are preying on our fears — giving rise to distrust, discord and conflict.

Many years of government service, mostly in intelligence, criminal and civil investigations, have led me to value the importance of improving communications and dispute resolution (e.g. mediation). Now a devout agnostic, I have simply seen too much hypocrisy and harm exercised in the name of one’s God. Let’s get a community dialogue going through which we can learn more about one another’s cultures, belief systems, experiences and perspectives. It is time for us to stop stagnating and engage in an active process of learning and growing. Whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh or of any other belief system, let’s strive together for a higher level of mutual understanding and respect — and agree upon a global human “religion” founded, first and foremost, in the Golden Rule.

— Dan Sockle, Vancouver