Think about this before you start condemning others due to their religious (or non religious) belief systems.
Is there a single religion anywhere in the world that has not been tainted by extremism, violence and other abuses? I am struggling to think of any at all. (I am including atheism in this also)
The answer to peace lies within acceptance and tolerance of the differences we have. To embrace that we can each have a belief system (or not) that is different from others.
By alienating, hating and dehumanising anyone because of their belief system is itself a path to destruction and provides the necessary environment for extremism to exist.
Get to know the people around you, accept them for who they are, do not try to forcibly convert them to your ideologies or belief system. Let there be a meeting of minds and hearts.
Have a good open conversation not just about what someone believes, but why they believe. It is a fantastic thing and sometimes you find you have similar experiences even though the outward expression may be different.
Perhaps you will find out more about other people and even more about yourself.
Think about it.
I am deeply saddened by the news that 49 people in Orlando Florida in the USA, have been murdered in cold blood and that 53 others have been wounded in this latest horrific incident.
These murderous attacks are happening across the planet killing many, many people. More often than not, the targets are innocent people going about normal everyday activities.
The hate and the killing must stop!
No one should die because they have different belief structures, or are different in any way from another person.
Let us forget forever the name of the Orlando murderer, banish it to the loneliest unmarked grave, without honour or epitaph. Do not show his picture and do not give coverage to his extreme and twisted personal misinterprtations of a particular religion.
But more than that…
Let us all learn to truly accept people and respect them as they are regardless of their faith or non-faith, gender association, sexual orientation, skin colour, ethnic origin etc.
Although not an excuse, our problem is that we can only see through the eyes we have, and they are biased, due to our personal experiences and what we have been taught or modelled. However change is possible for all of us, but only if we are willing to start.
We must always search for better ways, always question entrenched ideologies, always ask for help if you need it, and offer it where you are able.
- We need to start to see the person, the humanity, within each individual and respect them as they are;
- We need to stop labelling and putting people in boxes that make it easier for us to dismiss others as different or inferior;
- We need to remember that the blood in all our veins runs red, that we breathe the same air, and that this tiny little rock floating in space that we share is our only home.
It is a bold, courageous and glorious goal to love everybody and it is not easy, but even a small step in the direction of love is a good start. The trick is, when you start the journey, keep moving.
We must remember that this is a journey and
- We are all at varying stages along the way,
- We are not perfect,
- We are broken,
- We can’t do it alone,
- We need help,
- We need patience with others on the journey.
May be, just may be, if we all take a small step towards love and peace the world will be a better place.
Paul S Allen