Three nights ago I watched the news. Within 5 minutes I was crying and sobbing uncontrollably. The things that we do to each other in the name of religion blows me away!
For years now, a growing number of people in North America, have come to believe that regardless of which religion a person accepts as true, it will lead to some sort of salvation…provided that they lead a moral and honourable life. Of course this is based on the premise that God is just and could not have reserved a place in heaven for only those of one particular religion.
The doctrines of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Spiritualists all basically agree on the same definition of God. Each believes that God is a Supreme Being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the principal object of faith and worship. And…all the great Masters, Teachers, Guru’s from every religion say to honour one another!
So what is the PROBLEM? Why are we fighting wars in the name of God?
Personally, I believe that there is only one God and the only thing that really separates one religion from another is our personal values and or view points. So all this war, hatred and ignorance is really about value systems, which often stem from our cultural backgrounds.
This issue is the when we feel very strongly or emotional about something, we begin to gather information and evidence to support these emotions. Most of us can usually find some evidence to support and justify our emotional responses. Now add your personal value system and cultural beliefs to the mix and we have the recipe for WAR.
What if we were to take the emotion out of the equation and focus on being helpful whenever the opportunity presented itself. What if, we became conscious and responsible for our actions. What if we tried harder to develop the qualities of awareness, love, kindness, and wisdom. What if, we could forgive, trust and believe that we are all trying to do the best we can…is it possible that we could co-create the space that would allow us to agree to disagree and live together peacefully regardless of our in-differences?
According to a Pew Research values survey, about three-quarters of the public (76%) say prayer is an important part of their daily life, while an identical percentage agrees that “we will all be called before God at the Judgment Day to answer for our sins.” And eight-in-ten say they never doubt the existence of God.
If this is the case, shouldn’t we all be making a greater effort? What if, everyone woke up one day and said, “Today I am going to be 10% kinder and more loving to everyone I come in contact with.” Could something so simple change our minds about our neighbours, friends, family or world citizens?
I believe that if each of us were to commit to being 10% more kind-hearted and open, we would collectively create a positive influence that could snowball and begin to return dignity and healing to all regardless of background and culture.
Buddha used to say, “Provide the cause, and the effect will be there.” This is the world of cause and effect in which everything is determined.”
So…in conclusion I challenge you all to be 10% kinder today…next time you look at someone who is different than you, instead of judging, try being open and curious. Instead of turning away or scowling, try smiling, the biggest brightest smile you can muster. And above all remember that we are all mothers, daughters, sisters, brothers, fathers, sons, husbands, wives, partners or friends to someone who loves us.
Rev. Carol Lefevre