It doesn’t matter what religion you ascribe to, if any. Every major religious/spiritual leader and guru says the same thing.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” — Jesus Christ
“Be kind, for whenever kindness becomes part of something, it beautifies it. Whenever it is taken from something, it leaves it tarnished.” — Prophet Muhammad
“Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.” — Sai Baba
“To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.” — Buddha
All of these have exactly the same message. Be kind. Love one another. Or, not to put too fine a point on it — Don’t be a dick.
Why has this message gotten so confused?
The human race has a madness for taking the simple and over-complicating it. We seem hell-bent on analyzing things to their deepest meaning — even when there isn’t all that much depth present.
I had a professor in college tell me that EVERY character name has meaning. As a writer, I beg to differ — lots of my character names either just felt right to me, or in some cases were just pulled out of my ass. None-the-less, said professor had us dig deep, deep, into the hidden (and I believe non-existent) meaning of certain works.
Because of this obsession to understand to the “nth” degree, the simple idea gets lost. What ends up happening, as such, is that in the process of finding deeper meaning, inadvertently it gets created.
None of the above-quoted leaders put any provisos or addenda to their statements. As such, nowhere did Jesus say:
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another-unless you are gay, black, female, or other than just this one specific group of people.
That is not there because that is not the message. The message is to be kind, be loving, be understanding — and DON’T BE A DICK. That’s all. Simple, to the point.
How the hell did this message become so convoluted?
As a couple of my friends are want to say — people are the worst. In digging into the non-existent depths of some of these messages, they added their own agenda, and as such created their exclusions.
None of the great, legendary spiritual/religious leaders excluded anyone.
Sometimes the surface is also the depth
There are ZERO messages from any of these leaders preaching hate, intolerance, exclusion, or anything of that nature. None. All of these leaders, and others just like them both before and after them, preached inclusion. They offered love, understanding, and kindness.
The message in every religion is fundamentally the same. Be good to one another. Show kindness. Help your fellow human beings. Once again, the message is simple — DON’T BE A DICK.
Yet the ego of certain individuals and like-minded cohorts changed these messages to fit their personal beliefs. That is where intolerance of homosexuality, interracial marriage, transgender, and everything else that is not white, cis-gendered (mostly male) becomes suspect.
There are over seven billion people on this planet. Every single one of us is unique and perceives the Universe in their own way. Yet that said, we are also all the same. We are made up of the same materials, and we all come into this world with talents, skills, and gifts to share.
Every. Single. Human. Being. Deserves. Kindness. DON’T BE A DICK. The divisions we create are built on either artificial or superficial notions. Artificial include nationality, gender, religion, and other beliefs and mostly intangibles. Superficial include skin color, sex, height, weight, and other mostly tangibles.
Yes, we are unique individuals. But that makes nobody less than anyone else.
None of the religions or philosophies were founded on messages of intolerance, hate, denial, or unkindness. No major religion nor philosophy was founded upon “hate that guy because of who he is attracted to” or “her skin color makes her unworthy” or anything else. All of them have the same basic message. Don’t be a dick.
Be Kind. Rewind.
When you go back and reread the founding principles of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, or what-have-you, ALL of them preach treating your fellow person with respect. None of them preached hatred, intolerance, or any “ism” applied to denying rights and freedoms. All of those came later, and are the product of interpretation and, frankly, made-up bullshit.
The idea of religion, as far as I can tell, was for a group of people seeking a shared spiritual experience to come together to form a community. Nice idea. The group had a common bond. But then someone decided that their community was better than another’s…or that certain people were not welcome in that community, and divisions were created.
To expand upon those divisions, they translated, “interpreted,” or outright re-wrote messages to further their own agenda. That’s where the hate groups are formed and become exclusionary. They create lesser peoples to revile. Then they reinterpret messages of tolerance, love, and peace to new messages of intolerance, hate, and violence.
The messages were clear. Be kind. Love one another. Be welcoming. Open your heart and mind. DON’T BE A DICK.
Abundance is everywhere
Fear is the driving force behind the negative messages. The people who have taken the original messages and added their own provisos to them either see the world as lacking and scarce — OR — in their greed and selfishness know that showing lack and scarcity to others creates fear, which makes an excellent tool for control.
There is not a lack or scarcity of any resource, whether tangible or intangible, except that which is created artificially. If a tangible resource runs out, another can and will be found to take its place. No resources belong to only “the chosen,” or any other singular grouping. Men are not better, more worthy, or more deserving than women, for example. This applies to every other artificial or superficial difference ascribed to anyone.
Everyone is worthy and deserving of love, kindness, and abundance. Everyone. The exclusions and reasoning behind intolerance for anything runs counter to the true messages. And when all is said and done, it’s a VERY, very simple way to live.
Give it some thought. Don’t you prefer when people are kind, generous, loving, and tolerant towards you? How can you justify not showing the same to them? It’s not that hard, it really is much easier than we tend to make it.