Over the past two years the vitriol that has been built up in public discourse in our country and the world has left many of us blind-sided. Every body believes that they are correct in their beliefs and a large amount of other people are not. Of course, as every body seems to be involved in this the chances are that every body is wrong. I know in your head you are reading these words and thinking to yourself, “well, not me, I am the one who can see the truth that the rest of these other people cannot see.” I get where you are coming from, with so much insanity out there how could you be the one who has incorrect beliefs?
I am not here to tell anybody what the truth is, or what to believe. That is neither my job, nor something I am remotely capable or qualified to do. What I do want to say today, and trust me I realize the irony in this statement, we should all be a lot more like Jesus.
Yes, it is true that I in no way believe that Jesus was ever a real person nor do I believe there is an almighty presence looking down on me right now. That does not mean that Jesus as he is portrayed in the Holy Bible is not someone we cannot learn from in order to enrich our own lives. I did grow up in a church and for many years may have slightly believed in the words of this man. The biggest take-away I had from those teachings were Jesus’ ability to accept others even if he did not agree with them. That is the part of his teachings that seem to be lost on almost everybody these days.
In my opinion, we could all learn from this. What would the world be like if instead of immediately judging each other for the things we believe in or how we behave we instead approached everybody with love and acceptance even if we believe they are vile? I realize that does not sound productive in every situation but in the end of the day we are all victims of our own circumstances. The rich man who thinks he knows everything and wants to rule the world did not become that way in a vacuum. If he does not know what he is doing perhaps that is due to how he was raised and the sheltered life he lived until this point. If you were raised in the same exact way would you be just like him? If so, would you react well to everyone hating you for how you are? It may be easy to judge because he is so wealthy, but it is possible he truly has no way to comprehend how horrible his ideas are as he may not have the base knowledge needed to understand his own psychology. His victims are numerous, however, so there must be something we can do to show him the error of his ways. I believe the way we do this is to be more like Jesus.
Instead of shouting on social media or yelling at our family and friends who think differently than us perhaps we should instead just live our own lives in the best ways we can. Let us be kind and compassionate to every body else we meet. Lets not preach to them, or berate them for their thoughts or opinions. Lets instead lead by example. If our kindness and love looks appealing to others they may just want to join us in our quest to love our neighbors and accept our enemies. You do not have to be religious to love, and you do not have to be perfect to show compassion. These are things that everybody can do. The more we do them, the more these ideas can spread.
Unlike fighting with each other, the rewards for loving one another will not be immediately apparent. This may make things less satisfying for you in the short term, but I promise the long term effects of this will be well worth it. At least in this crazy mans opinion.