There is something upon my heart this evening which is weighing upon me rather heavily. Often times in writing, I am able to achieve some level of clarity and my heart seems a bit lighter. I had intended to complete another piece I had started regarding how Love defines our hearts. But that will be for another day, I believe. As before, I pray for your indulgence here as I try to express what my heart wishes to say.
I am disturbed greatly by the lack of tolerance which is so clearly demonstrated in our world these days. If one takes notice, it is quite prevalent and seems to become more of a problem with each day that passes. I ask my spirit almost daily why this so, why do people of one nationality have the desire to inflict pain and death upon others simply because of the color of their skin or a religious belief that differs from their own? Do they not see what madness this is? Why are so many so consumed with such hatred so as to take the life of another? And I wonder as well if when someone ends another’s life, do they and can they truly feel good about this deep in their heart? The logic of my soul says this cannot be so, that when the heart of another ceases the rhythm that is indeed Life, the person who caused this cannot truly rejoice in what they have done. They may have acted in the name of religious fervor or in the name of the supremacy of their race, or in the name of any other belief that has diseased their soul and mind. But when they are alone in their room, away from the chanting and rantings of those they associate with, does such a person feel conflicted and deep within their spirit feel pain and doubt about their actions? I believe this is true at least in most situations for if I did not believe so, then I would have to say that our world is racing at breakneck speed towards its own destruction. I do not sense in my spirit that this is the case as yet. Oh, you may have noticed I referred to “the logic of my soul” a bit earlier. To some, it may sound an odd thing to say. But every soul does indeed come with logic programmed in. Make no mistake about this. Perhaps this will be a subject for another day. But I digress and for that, my apologies.
I just want to say that we are all of us the same in that we are all different. Those of you that breed hatred within you and spread it about as a disease, may I ask you this one question? Why can’t you see that this is true? This statement is perfect in its logic because this is logic that was born of the soul. Our differences were meant to be celebrated for in celebrating our differences, we are become as one people. Am I saying then that we would all adhere to the same mode of dress and share all the same ideas and worship in the same fashion? No, not at all. What I am trying to convey is that we have so much we can learn from one another and in doing so, we have unity one with the other. I am who God created me to be and therefore I do not want to be that person from a far off land and become someone I am not. However, would I like to know this person from this far off land and learn from he or she what it is that brings to their life goodness, joy and fulfillment? Yes, yes, and yes again! And perhaps they will find something of worth in what my life style has to offer as well. This is called understanding and with understanding comes tolerance. And my friends, with tolerance comes wisdom and in wisdom lies true Life, the most precious of gifts. Can you not see the truth in this?
What I am writing this evening came about because of a friend I have who resides in Tunisia and we converse now and again thanks to todays technologies. I came across an item he had posted and it broke my heart. It was a photograph of the face of a man who was of Arabic descent, I believe. If I am incorrect in the nationality, I apologize. I mean no disrespect. You see, I view others through my spirit so all I really see is a human being. But with regards to the photograph that I mentioned here? Well to make this easier, please do something for me. It will only take but a moment or two. Close your eyes and see this photograph now. Do you see the face of a man, possibly Arabic in his mid-thirties with a dark bread and prominent cheekbones? Do you see the turban he wears on his head as is the custom? Now focus in for a moment on his eyes, if you will. They are beautiful and dark brown in color. Do you see reflected in those eyes a gentle kindness looking out at you? It is difficult to miss, to be sure. But look deeper for just a moment. If you are observant enough, you can see also a quiet pain there, one that says to those who will hear, “Why do you dislike me so and why do you judge me based on the actions of but a few?” Now, do you have this picture, all of it in your minds’ eye? Good, for now I want you to visually pull back and see what else this picture contains. It might be difficult for a moment ago, you really “saw” this person in a true light. Now as you look at the photo again, you notice that someone has placed labels all over this beautiful human face. Labels such as terrorist, fanatic, Muslim, Al Qaeda, militant, Saddam, prisoner, o9/11, Taliban, fundamentalist and others as well. My friends, this photograph demonstrates the ignorance of our world. But as disturbing and sad as this photograph was to me, there was something else which grieved my spirit. There was a caption nearby with regards to this picture. It read “Unfortunately, it is how others see us”. That comment was written by a fine young man, the friend I spoke of in this writing. He is a beautiful and kind young man with a gentle spirit and the soul of an artist. I cannot tell you how many beautiful photos he has sent my way which have graced my day and expanded my heart. I cannot express to you the depth of his thoughts he has shared that have caused my spirit to become more than it was previously. And yet this wonderful soul endures much pain and trouble because of the many who believe that we are so much different, that we have no commonality in this world. I saw this photograph he posted months ago and did make mention of it to him because it troubled me so. I did not tell him of the tears that filled my eyes and the pain which tore at my heart because of it. When will we as the people of the world recognize the truth of things? And as you know, that photograph could have just as well been of a person of Hispanic descent or Asian descent or African descent or……Well, you see what it is I am saying. It is not the nationality or choice of belief system at issue here. It is how we as a people label and judge those around us. Adolf Hitler did that, you know. And if you know anything of history at all, then you know this one thing. History will repeat itself unless we do something collectively to keep that from occurring! And what is wonderful about that is that it is all up to us. We can control these types of things. Do you wish to know the frightening part of this as well? It is also the fact that it is all up to us. Think about that for a moment. It is so much easier to leave things like this up to others and hope all will be taken care of properly, isn’t it? It does not work this way however.
Whether we accept it or not, we are indeed our brothers (or sisters) keeper. We are responsible one for another. And that responsibility includes loving your neighbor as yourself. It is past time to realize this. Besides, if you participate in the way things should be, you may find out you will enjoy Life that much more. We are here on this Earth, our Earth together, are we not? Take the time each day to speak and smile to those who you believe are different from you. You will be surprised how that we are all of us the same! May the blessing and the fullness of this day be yours to share!
Thank you for your kind attention.
Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.