The world is a wondrous place made ugly by selfishness and greed. These are the real threats to our security and it is the responsibility of each of us to fight back with love, mercy and justice.
A television commentator observed recently that humans are the only specie that has to constantly relearn what it means to be themselves, i.e. human.
Our history is one of each generation relearning what it means to identify with the other as himself, or seeing the other as equally human. The history of race in America is an example of this failure.
To counter this we all have a responsibility to share the wisdom of our experiences, open to the potential of learning as well as teaching, and it doesn’t matter if it’s been said before.
The current acrimony in our public spaces blots out any consensus of a common humanity. This may be more perception than reality. But in this age of instant access, controlled by corporate immorality, the extremes have greater motivation and are noisier, and there is real danger of perception becoming the only reality.
This is evident in every hot button issue. From the hostility towards the children caught in the immigration purgatory, to the vitriolic fear surrounding caring for 2 citizens who’ve contracted the Ebola virus, and the disproportionate killing of children taking place in Gaza in the name of security, to name a few.
The majority of mankind lay claim to belief in a God. Whatever one’s attitude on the subject, human history has distilled the core of this belief system down to one central principle, do unto others as you would they do unto you or love your neighbor as yourself.
This mirrors our social evolution which shows our fragile existence hinges on our ability to understand that our fate is inextricably woven together, no matter how insulated we feel from one another.
One is repeatedly confounded by those of all religious persuasions, wrapped in allegiance to a God of love, who are always ready to choose war over justice, cannot see the love of their own children in the eyes of another frightened child, and who choose fear over mercy for fellow Christians spreading their faith. One national spokesperson even asked why were they working in the “diseased cesspools of Africa”. Glib statements may reinforce needy egos, but anything that dehumanizes one dehumanizes all.
Love and mercy are not cheap. Turning the other cheek requires accepting the risk of getting hit in order to end the cycle of violence. If the choice is between being right and being kind, it is better to be kind.
This may seem Pollyannaish, but if we begin in small ways to affirm our humanity it will carry over to the larger issues. The ability of good to transform evil remains our best hope, not doing the same or greater evil. So, haltingly or otherwise let’s live it as best we can.