Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sharing Our Humanity

“When we see others as the enemy, we risk becoming what we hate. When we oppress others, we end up oppressing ourselves. All of our humanity is dependent upon recognizing the humanity in others.”  Desmond Tutu

I’m a people person.  I love people.  It doesn’t matter what color, race, religion, politics, culture, sexual preference, nationality, or so on.  I admit there are those who make it very difficult for me to love them, and there are those I have a really hard time understanding where they are coming from, but I try.  On those occasions when I can’t find it within me to love someone because of the words they speak or because of their actions, I at least try to see the little infant within them that was born innocent and knowing nothing but love.  And then there are those who I just have to bless and let go because no matter how hard I try, I cannot love their human side so much, if at all, because of the harm they do to me or to others. 

How amazing would it be if people could look past their differences and actually see what they have in common?!?!   Look for what’s good and beautiful in someone rather than immediately judging and condemning them because of what we were taught or what we were told we have to believe about that person or group of people.  If we could get to know people first rather than instantly putting up a wall between us, then we might just get to know some really wonderful people and make some new, meaningful friendships. 

If we could get past the fear, which is mostly propagated by others, and trust our inner Spirit whose foundation is always unconditional love, then we might be able to really distinguish who might be those who would cause us real harm or not.  What saddens me is when there are those who would hold a whole group of people accountable for the actions of a select few when the larger majority are good, loving, kind-hearted people.  I’m so glad that I learned that lesson early or I would have missed out on knowing a lot of really beautiful people.

There are many who use fear to control the masses into agreeing with their ideologies and/or beliefs, and many times, it’s against a person, group of people, or even a nation.  What’s worse is that some of these same people will declare that they are speaking for God.  If someone is not speaking words of love, compassion, kindness, and mercy, then they’re not speaking for God; they’re speaking for themselves and their own personal agendas.  These very principles were taught by Jesus and other great Spiritual Masters throughout time as well, as by those who teach them today.

There’s a lot of chaos occurring in the world and we’re seeing and hearing a lot of words of hate, bigotry, and ignorance coming from some of our religious leaders and politicians (not all), and they are using fear to separate us and to tear us apart.  As people of faith (whatever religion you believe in), we have got to remember the teachings of our Masters who taught love and compassion.  We cannot give up on people.  As Buddha said, “A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

Whenever there is a disaster, no matter where it is, people from all over the world come together to lend a hand and to help each other.  There are no boundaries or differences.  We see each other as human beings helping human beings.  During the recent blizzard, I saw videos of people in New York City having snow ball fights and having a grand old time.  They didn’t care what the other person looked like or what they believed.  They all came out to experience Mother Nature’s grandeur and to have fun together. 

If we can look past our differences in these moments, then why is it so difficult to look past them in our everyday lives?  We’re all on this planet together as brothers and sisters, as well as sons and daughters of the Almighty.  I agree that it’s not always easy, but we can at least try.

Peace Pilgrim said, “What we fear we tend to develop an unreasoning hatred for, so we come to hate and fear. This not only injures us psychologically and aggravates world tension, but through such negative concentration we tend to attract the things we fear. If we fear nothing and radiate love, we can expect good things to come. How much this world needs the message and example of love and of faith!”  I know I do! 

Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper January 29, 2016.

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