When we help our neighbor and the stranger and treat others as we would like to be treated, we lift up humanity. If we act this way in the name of our religion or in the name of God then we lift up this concept in the eyes of others, who may then give the topic greater consideration. This helps sanctify our world. Sharing of critical resources is part of this effort.
It is pretty clear where we are trying to go. With both strength and kindness we want to go beyond mere tolerance to the best possible relations with family, neighbors and even strangers. There seem to be some individuals who are so sick, suffering from destructive addictions, various forms of profound selfishness, or obsessive hate and violent intentions, that they pose a danger to others who would like to live in harmony and peace. Sick people can be helped in recovery while society is protected from thier harmful actions.
In this world there are ways of acting that are truly NOT GOOD. Destroying life, which is God's creation, in the name of God is especially bad. It is also bad when irreligious, inconsiderate and harmful actions are taken by people who look or claim to be religious. When people belittle the sacredness of life, are unkind, dishonest, or lack decency and love for others and act in the name of God or religion, they are actually doing something very bad. This is desecration.
True religion teaches people both to "love your neighbor as yourself" and to warmly welcome the stranger, as Abraham did.
"The highest religious principle is that the whole world is one family. No matter what religion we are following, if we cannot love others then we are not following religion but the illusion of religion." Kripalu
These words come from a great yoga master after whom the country's largest Yoga Center, The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, is named. He goes on to say that "where there is no unity, no love, no harmony among each other, how can there be religion?”
If we think we are religious but are plagued by discord and dis-ease we might benefit by asking ourselves if we are practicing true religion or something else?
"Namaste" means that the Divine in me honors the divine in you.
There are many ways to say this and to work toward its realization. It is difficult for many to interpret this absolutely literally. However, it also refers to the reality that God is like a father or parent who created and sustains us all. That makes us all God's children. In that sense "the whole world is one family." Once we start really acting with this knowledge we will be on our way to a brighter future. However, if we don't act accordingly, we will find many problems ahead and our very security will always feel threatened. We have to do the work of building a new structure together and bringing on the day where love and peace reign.
There is so much to do and so little time. While we may not be able to complete the work that lies ahead, we are not free to abandon it. Together let's do our best with the little time we have left.
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