"...As We All Are Part Of Each Other."
~ A Wind In The Door,
by Madeleine L'Engle
Pardon me, whilst I meander.
Of course, we all fall victim to this thinking. But it is not how the world is supposed to be. Should you stand for something? Of course, everyone should, everyone should look in their heart, or to their God, and find who they are. Find what is important to them, what is worth standing up for, as it defines you yourself in the end. But ideas and convictions should never be more important than your fellow man. Your firm belief should never be one that gives you leave to dismiss a fellow human being. You can disagree with someone. You can have lively debate. But my Lord, the sea of hatred that boils back home in my own country...I get frustrated. And then I am just sad, really sad.
I will tell you a story.When I was a little girl, I attended a church that, from good intentions and innocent beginnings, became something Different. I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say, the change was slow and subtle, until it came to a point when, after some disagreements between Godly men, we were urged by our leader to "shun" a certain group who'd left the congregation. My parents of course had none of this drivel, and not too much later we left that community. But before they ever uttered a word in response to this "strong suggestion", my nine-year-old soul rebelled violently. They believed in the same Jesus I did. They believed in the same salvation I believed I had. I grew up believing in God. God is Love. God might tell me not to do certain things that may hurt me, but he'd never tell me to shun anyone, to harbor hate for anyone in my heart. I was only a child, but I KNEW then, and though I can be judgmental too, as all of us can be, I still know that it is poison straight to the heart.
Whether you believe in a deity, an afterlife, or you do not, we can all agree on one thing: When we go, we take only ourselves. Our material possessions will rot and decay, and all that will be left behind was how we treated our fellow man. Did you hide in a church all your life? Did you only surround yourself with people who thought and acted as you did? Did you disdain a church-goer, simply because you didn't believe in God and disliked what you believed religion did to society as a whole? Did you stop going to lunch with your co-worker when you found out she was a lesbian, because heaven forbid you be seen with THAT kind of person? Did you judge the girl who had an abortion? Did you curse out the protester outside the clinic?
All we have is each other. And while everyone should stand by their own convictions, to use your convictions as a license to hate, to avoid, to make snap judgments, is the surest way to aid in the decay of your own soul. Ideas will change and fall away. Countries will rise and fall and rise again. But the only way society will truly end, is when we are all too isolated to even speak to each other. Every single person, on their own little island, in their own little head telling themselves how right they are, and how wrong everyone else is.
and of these,
The Greatest is Love.