What on earth is going on in our country and in the world right now?!? It seems like there is chaos everywhere and so many people are living in a state of fear. The media is full of stories of wars, murders, and people just being really nasty to one another. In the United States alone, we have people propagating so much hate, bigotry, and violence. It’s seems that instead of going forward in time, many are trying to take us backwards into history, where people were oppressed, segregated, and dehumanized.
On the other hand, there is a great movement in the world where people from all religions are standing together to promote love, peace, compassion, kindness, and oneness. The difference is that we’re just not hearing about them in mainstream media. You will find countless sites on the Internet where individuals and groups are showing their love by being of service to humanity. People are caring for their fellow beings (human and animal), as well as caring for Mother Earth. They are living their religions and faiths by being the example and don’t feel a need to force their beliefs on anyone else.
Our Spiritual Masters taught us to love one another. The sad thing is that we are seeing many in various religions doing and saying everything to the contrary. Some religious leaders and those in the political realm (not all) are saying the most awful, vile, and hateful things about others, and they want to get rid of whole groups of people. I can only imagine how sad it makes our Spiritual Masters to see how our brothers and sisters are treating each other. We are all children of God (by whatever name you use) and we are loved equally. When people take the teachings of their Spiritual Masters out of their religions, then it just becomes a man-made religion that is used to back up their own personal beliefs. For Christians in particular, Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
1 John 2:9 states, "Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”
Jesus instructed us to care for one another, especially those who are less fortunate, because when we care for others, we are caring for him: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Buddha said, “Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike, each has their sufferings.”
He also stated, “Radiate boundless love towards the entire world - above, below, and across - unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.”
The Al Quran states, “And worship Allah and associate naught with Him, and show kindness to parents, and to kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and to the neighbor that is a kinsman and the neighbor that is a stranger, and the companion by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom your right hands possess. Surely, Allah loves not the proud and the boastful” (4:36). It also says, “Those who believe and do good deeds - the Gracious God will create love in their hearts” (19:96).
Most, if not all religions teach love and kindness and their scriptures are filled with verses, stories, and parables teaching us just how important it is to love one other. There are so many other religions I would have liked to have included here, but you can do your own research. I know I write a lot about love, but I’m going to keep writing about it because there are still many who are living in fear and who are afraid to love others, especially if there are any perceived differences for whatever reasons.
Senator Cory Booker made the greatest statement when he said, “Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people; before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children; before you preach to me of your passion for your faith, teach me about it through your compassion for your neighbors.”
Loving others isn’t always easy, but our Masters have been the greatest examples of how loving others is possible and gives us something to strive for. Besides, love really is the only answer.
Published in the religion section of the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper April 1, 2016.