With the study of the history of humanity it seems that we have a gap between what it means to be human and our modern day society. For years we have seen countless wars being waged over things that just do not make sense. We began with land and have now worked our way to wars over our own minds. We began to create wars over who could think which way and what way of thinking is right. Where does this insanity end? Where should the line be drawn between what we can and cannot wage war over?
Our American society, which has now grown into a global phenomenon, has put such value on material gain and material things that we have lost sight of what it truly means to be human. Our sexual desires are now outlined by what we should and should not do during sexual intercourse. Our desire for food has been replaced by packaged and processed items and even the way that we entertain ourselves is outlined by what society deems “right”. What makes these things right? Who makes these things right?
When it comes down to it, each and every one of us is responsible for how we live our day to day lives. Whether you would like to believe we are controlled or not we have to understand that we do have choices. We have the ability to reach within ourselves and grasp what it truly means to be human.
The exercise I would like you to try is quick and easy and only requires you, a quiet spot (preferably alone), a piece of paper and a pen
1. First write all of the things that you disagree with in life. Whether it be religion, politics, the way someone does something.
2. Take a look at that list and see if you can attach any situations or persons to those disagreements.
For instance, you may write that you disagree with the Buddhist tradition and then go on to write that you disagree with it because someone has told you to. Or you may disagree with it because someone who believes in Buddhism has disagreed with you.
3. For those beliefs that you have attached to a person or situation, try and understand them. Feel the situation or person that has provided a negative backing to this belief. Take a deep breath and let go of those negative emotions. Understand that these are just words and you do not have to believe in them but feel yourself becoming accepting of the fact that these are just different beliefs. See them for what they truly are, differences of opinion.
4. For the words that you cannot connect to a specific person or thing I want you to take these into special account. I would like for you to research them and jot a few notes down. Understand these beliefs. See if you can gain perspective on them. While you also do not have to agree with them, simply disliking something because you “Just dislike it” is also not the way to go.
After this exercise understand that while there are differences throughout this world, we must keep our eyes open to everything. We must see that each and every person provides a vital role in life and that arguments over politics or religion is petty. Love one another and gain insight into humanity by accepting one another.