Quote of the Day

Vector illustration of speech bubbles“We have enough religion to make us hate but not enough to make us love one another.” ~Jonathan Swift

Having faith is a fine thing. Having a religious philosophy by which one lives one’s life, provides us with an essential moral compass. Many nation states may be secular today but religion has provided an essential cultural element to many developed societies around the world historically.

Whilst there will always be a debate about which religion is the ‘right’ one in the eyes of God, it seems to me that they all have their merits. If you consider the three major world religions of Christianity, Islam and Judaism; as a moral philosophy they all seem very similar to me. Yes there are differences in the way they are observed but not in the underlying moral messages they present to their adherents.

Each seeks to define what it means to be a good and decent person and all most of us aspire to be is good and decent people, even if we fall short of that on occasions.

Surely it is the moral philosophy by which we live our lives that matters most? If we accept that premise then whatever religion someone choses to observe shouldn’t matter at all. Why should someone’s religious identity make any difference to anyone else?

If all we are doing is trying to be good and decent then the name we give our religious philosophy shouldn’t have any bearing on our ability to get along with other people. There will always be people whose company we enjoy and then there will be those who will be more of a challenge for us. In my experience there are good and bad people wherever you go. However look beyond religious identity and as people we are all the same.

We all have hopes; we all have dreams. We have families, large or small. We laugh; we cry; we enjoy football or cricket or baseball or basketball or some other sport. We watch movies and television. We listen to music and some people even play musical instruments. We all want a better life for our children. We all want a secure, safe and prosperous society in which to live and within which our children can thrive and become the adults of tomorrow.

Just because I’m an X and you’re a Y, why should that matter at all? In reality we’re all just people. We all have emotions and if you cut us we will bleed.

If only we could see people for what they are, instead of what they aren’t, then perhaps the world would be a better place. Look beyond the veneer of religious identity and all you will see is people; some good, some not so good and some who are somewhere in between.

And people, good or bad, deserve to be loved. The good ones for obvious reasons; the bad ones because they may be bearing pain that the rest of us can’t even see. And if loving people is a struggle for us then at least we could show them some respect.

Someone with a bad attitude may feel unworthy of love. Show them love and you might just be surprised at how their attitude changes. We reap what we sow.

© RJ Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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