What Do You Mean I'm Violent. I've Done Nothing
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"If a soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin but he who causes the darkness." - Victor Hugo
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We all question why does an all powerful, all loving God allow suffering. Maybe God has designed the world in such a way as we are supposed to do His work. A more challenging question, then, needs to be asked: What suffering have we allowed?
In many cases, our weapon is our silence, motivated by ignorance and apathy.
We are outraged when we hear stories such as when a person is assaulted and nobody comes forward to help out the victim. Aren't we allowing the victim's pain to continue by not offering that assistance?
And aren't we doing the same when we refuse to help our neighbor who is frustrated by what fate has thrown at him, with his needs, his goals, his desires, help him become who he was meant to be?
Taking it one step further, according to the second law of thermodynamics, everything in life is slowly decaying away. This is especially true for us humans. Our minds and bodies waste away, becoming plagued with illnesses as we age.
What slows this process down, if not reverses it, are the beliefs and practices of spiritual values - love, hope, faith, a sense of purpose, etc. If the hurting are not being offered these values, are they not dying a slow painful death? If we are not giving life, are we not taking life away?
The words of humanitanarians don't seem move us:
John Donne: "No man is island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. Any man's death diminishes me because I'm involved in mankind."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:" I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the way the world is made. No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent. We are interdependent."
And Albert Schweitzer once said that as long as there was a man in the world who was hungry, sick, lonely or living in fear, he was his (Schweitzer's) responsibility.
And finally, the Golden Rule, with its many interpretations - Taoism being one of my favorites: "Regard your neighbor's gain as your gain and your neighbor's loss as your own loss."
We all want others to adhere to the Golden Rule but few who practice it. If people aren't going to practice the Golden Rule, why should it be shown to them in their time of need?
If people aren't going to show understanding and empathy, why should understanding and empathy be shown to them in their time of need?
If people aren't going to show generosity, why should generosity be shown to them in their time of need?
If people aren't going to show mercy and kindness, why should mercy and kindness be shown to them in their time of need?
If people aren't going to love, why should love be shown to them in their time of need?
And so on..and so on..
And sooner or later, we are all in need of being a recipient of the virtues the Golden Rule represents.
I keep thinking how curable many of our socials ills are. If only we practiced the Golden Rule and the values that Donne, King and Schweitzer lived by.
If we are not living in the solution - creating a better world - are we not part of the problem?
It has been written: "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing."
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