As I watch these videos about bombings and shootings that happen in one or the other side of the world, where people are crying over their killed loved ones, where everyone is in shock and despair, where children with half limbs are crying out for mercy and compassion, where parents are begging for help, I can’t help but to join them in crying and feeling angry at the same time, how can someone not? I’m feeling impotent, I am a “nobody” in this matter, sitting in the corner of my room watching how other humans, beings equal to me, are being literally destroyed into pieces, heartlessly and without remorse. I’m so angry at what I’m seeing I just want to yell at everyone to stop! and smash my computer against the wall.
But I can’t just cry and yell at my screen, and smashing my computer won’t help anyone, but I can try to be someone that adds to the cure rather than fueling the hate; we all can. I can use the very same computer I’m yelling at to channel my indignation towards contributing to the cure, to use my anger as a fuel to spread what I believe; and what I believe in is oneness and justice. Oneness means that we –as in all the creatures on this Earth – are one, our spirit is one and the same, and each of us represents one cell in the unique body of humankind. Justice to me means that each person should get what they deserve (punishment or reward) and the only way to exercise justice without falling into subjectivity is if it’s used in search for truth, and it should be moderated by compassion.
I don’t want to give up and just feel sorry for humanity like it doesn’t affect me in any way; and I can’t say that because I’m not directly involved I shouldn’t share responsibility for what our body of humankind is going through. Different people and governments are committing atrocities for different reasons, but the reasons why atrocities are committed are not what differentiates us as humans – it doesn’t matter why one kills, all killers have one thing in common and it’s that they kill, no matter who they are and where they’re from, they’re all convinced that their reasons are worthy of killing – what differentiates our quality as humans is our consciousness and subsequently our actions. And even if we are not the ones actually committing these crimes against humanity, but we are justifying our people or governments’ actions “for a greater good”, or if we are only sensitive to the sufferings of one side of the world over the other side of the world, then we are not much better than the killers; we are just the lesser evil.
This is why I say what I believe, because I don’t want to give up nor be just a lesser evil. I don’t want to stay hopeless and think that hatred is the rule, that war is inescapable, that greed and deceit are inevitable, that destruction of each other is inherent in our humanity. If I do, if I choose to believe all that, it would mean that I’m giving up my power, I would be no better than the killers and in fact I become like them by perpetuating these lies. So I believe in us, in our capacity of being better than this, of rising above this beast-like behavior we have become so accustomed to, as individuals and as world civilization.
We need to speak more about what we believe rather than just focusing on what we don’t believe anymore. Think for example about when children stop believing in Santa, when they realize that Santa is not the one bringing them gifts so they no longer need to be good, even if nobody is watching, what are we teaching them to believe instead? We teach them that they want to be good for themselves and for making others happy, and maybe that the gifts are tokens of their parents’ love. What I’m saying is that when we stop believing in something because it doesn’t comply with reality, we need to start believing in something else that does – at least to the extent that we can understand. We shouldn’t stay hopeless.
And we need to think where our beliefs come from, what is our background and context, who is telling us what to believe. For example, I cannot automatically and without thinking say that because some atrocities are happening misguidedly in the name of one religion then I don’t see the good that religion can bring to people, because the same type of atrocities are committed by others in the name of democracy, in the name of material growth, in the name of freedom. And I can’t just say that I don’t believe in anything anymore, because then what would be left of me? Hence, for example, I believe that God is that force that has neither beginning nor end that fuels our existence and that holds us together, God is gravity, is the force of attraction, is love. We each manifest the attributes of God when we feel compassion, sympathy, a drive to be fair, to listen and want to understand others, to be kind and to not break someone’s heart; it manifests when we feel moved and at peace when we contemplate nature (because God is the same spirit in us and in nature); all this is us being our true selves, the most real we can ever get.
I believe in our inherent capacity for being good. I believe we are better than this. We have to be. We are better than vicious machines, we are better than greedy beasts that extinguish everything that gets in the way of their own agendas. I say this on the individual level and collective level – because we sometimes manifest these behaviors in our personal lives, too.
We need to start by thinking how we, as individuals, carry out our lives and our relationships with others. What do we understand about our own societies? Do our love and loyalty go beyond our own families, countries or races? How do we treat strangers? Are we fair and compassionate individuals? Are we kind? Even to someone that harmed us? Are we truthful individuals? Do we want to always find and defend the truth even if it goes against our interests? These personal attitudes translate into the collective life.
In other words, the world is what we are, each of us; we are not disconnected from what it’s going through now. Everything we have learned and everything we teach to the next generation is what shapes our world civilization, what shapes our collective experience on this Earth – i.e. those in positions of power today who are committing these crimes against humanity were children educated by parents and schools once, and those who gang up together and commit similar crimes based on a misconception of a religion were thought to behave this way at some point.
We are all mainly the results of our education and our experiences, but until we don’t become conscious of those social forces that are influencing our thoughts and attitudes we are nothing but sheep blindly and dumbly following some wolf, until it turns around and eats us too – as we can see now, nobody is safe anymore. We have been played like puppets going from the hands of one greedy master to another for too long now, and in this time of mass communication we can join forces from all corners of the world, we can speak up and share our hopes for humanity; we have to for our own sake and of the next generations. We don’t need to be told what to believe anymore.
This is why I choose to still believe in the good of humanity and I ask everyone who still believes in something that is not destruction to speak out and to listen to what others believe. Otherwise disbelief and hopelessness will only fuel the destruction of the world and everything in it.