Long, long ago, in around 1,000 BC, the Queen of Sheba left her kingdom on camelback. She had company, a 750-strong caravan following her along the Frankincense Trail. The Queen's caravan journeyed to Jerusalem, where peace offerings and gifts were made to King Solomon. Her mission complete and friendships formed, she returned to her home. Even now, in a tale that is often recounted, she serves as an inspiration . . .
To us, but also to countless others. You see, plans are afoot to recreate that important pilgrimage. Not just now, but soon - in 2015 - another caravan is scheduled to retrace those ancient steps. Times might have changed, but the mission is the same.
This time it's called the World Peace Caravan and is the brainchild of Dr Gary Young, who featured on our blog not long ago. Dr Young, you might recall, is the man behind Young Living, the largest privately-owned Essential Oils producer on Earth and an inspiration to the team here at OM®.
Our paths crossed when Dr Young gave a fascinating address in Rhode Island a little earlier in 2014. But he doesn't just talk the talk . . .
That he is prominent among those organizing the World Peace Caravan demonstrates as much, this a 12-day expedition that will retrace the steps of Queen Sheba's legendary peace movement in an attempt to achieve a similar outcome in modern times.
It's open to people 'of all faiths, cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds' and aims to 'promote peace, harmony, compassion and a greater understanding of one another'.
'Our dream is to unite the world in peace,' explain organizers. 'To inspire the people of the world to have greater understanding and compassion . . . to achieve mutual respect and honor, even in our differences . . . to strengthen our physical, mental and spiritual health . . . to bring joy and harmony, to help transform our world into a peaceful society'. Needless to say, this is something that is right up our street!
The World Peace Caravan will start in Petra, Jordan, and travel to Jerusalem next December. There are to be supporting events, not least the World Peace and Health Conference, which will focus on health, education and the role of women in peacemaking. Young people are to be engaged, with the World Peace Youth Ambassadors set to be formed in an attempt to inspire the next generation. There is to be an ePetition, which will call for a global ceasefire during the Caravan's 12 days. Five million dollars is to be raised in order to equip orphanages, build schools and improve medical facilities around the world. It is clear that this is an event that has the power to make a remarkable difference to innumerable people.
More than anything else, this is an event that is built upon connection as a transformative force. Open to EVERYBODY, organizers are appealing to people to walk and ride side-by-side, regardless of their faith, no matter their beliefs, their differences put to one side for the greater good . . .
You might not be able to get to Petra, but that doesn't mean that the World Peace Caravan cannot do good on a local level. Far from it, in fact.
The principles outlined above are ones that can be applied to all our lives. Can't make the Caravan? You can still make the journey . . .
To greater understanding. To tolerance. To honor and respect. To connection. To peace.
Here at OM®, where we'll be following from afar, we're planning to join the World Peace Caravan in spirit. To walk side-by-side with our neighbors, no matter their beliefs or background, and to do our bit to achieve mutual respect and bring joy and harmony wherever possible. From the Queen of Sheba to Dr Young to us, this is an ancient connection that must continue. It's our hope that YOU might join us in our caravan.