We’re Not so Different
As we all bleed the same color blood though we have different skin colors, so to do our prayers of peace hold the same message just under different languages and words. As there are many different names for God, so too are there many names for the many people of humanity. As there are many ways to Jerusalem, so to are there many ways to a life of peace.
When I look out of my window and see the sunset, I see many different shades of red, orange, yellow, blue and hints of green thrown in with black and white from the growing night sky – all working in harmony to show humanity the sheer beauty of the skies we have. While many of our animal and tree friends may not see the same colors as we do, they still enjoy the sunset as a time to either rest or wake, as we humans.
When the sunrises, the black and white night sky fades into beautiful shades of blue, orange and yellow as the clouds show their beautiful formations – ever changing day by day. Day or night, the sky is still beautiful and we, as humans, are blessed to see and live with such wonders every day. While our animal and tree friends may not see the colors as we do, they still enjoy the sunrise as a time to either rest or wake – still enjoying the same skies as we humans do.
Whether the sunrise or sunset is in India, China, Africa, Palestine, Europe, Australia or the Americas, all of humanity can embrace in the awe in this beauty. As with faith, the same light of faith and peace shines upon us all, though we see the sun in motion in different parts of the world. Faith is in motion in many different parts of the world, but that does not mean the faith one person may have in Hinduism in India is entirely different than the faith of the Hopi in Kykotsmovi, Arizona.
Similar in Difference
Our humanity is so diverse that we share the similarity of difference. All faiths and religions of the world, from Hinduism to the Hopi, are very much the same in this concept. Humans hold the same number of chromosomes that allow us to bring life to this world – either within a skin tone are in a mix of skin tone. The faiths and religions of the world hold something similar to the same number of Chromosomes that Humans have with one another – they all share the same seeds.
Throughout my journal, I have explored some of the seeds that are present in the faiths and religion of the world. While they have grown differently according to the faiths of the respective geographical area and age they arose in, the message is the same. Some examples are below:
Different names for God: All faiths and religions of the world have a name for a creator God/Higher Power and similar creation stories where God/The Higher Power created the world in a variety of ways. The different names for God are limitless from Taiowa, Yahweh, God, Waheguru, and so on.
Views on Greed: All faiths and religions of the world have very similar/the same views on greed and denounce it. Christianity may have this as one of the seven deadly sins, Sikhism has this as one of the five evils/thieves, Buddhism has this as one of the three poisons, and so on. The love of money and greed is consistently denounced time and time again.
Power of Prayer: All faiths and religions of the world share that faith is of utmost importance in any religious and faithful practice. Psychology has also confirmed that prayer provides benefits to a person. The variations of prayer are as many as there are religions and cultures, but the power of prayer is well supported.
Spiritual Awakening/Development: With the new age spiritual movement that is prevalent in the United States, all faiths and religions of the world have shared the importance of a spiritual awakening/development to further our relationship with God/The Higher power, all life around us, and to empower ourselves to be better humans.
Prayers for Peace: All faiths and religions of the world have prayers for peace not just for those within their faith, but for all humanity that can be recited.
Forgiveness: Forgiveness is one of the most prevalent themes of Christianity; however, forgiveness is also highly prevalent in many other faiths and religions of the world such as Islam, Sikhism, Baha’i, many Native American faith traditions, Buddhism, and so on.
With these similarities in mind, one should also think these similarities can also be found for different subjects such as fasting, charity, reconciliation, and the variety of humanity’s vices. While there are many other subjects outside of these examples that may be explored, another common theme that should be discussed, and denounced, is this: viewing each other as just different.
What good does it do for Humanity, the world, and our connection to God/The Higher Power, if we continue to see each other as just different?
Not Multiple Worlds, but One World
When I turn on the news, I would catch wind of words shared such as the following: The Muslim World, The Christian World, the Developed Countries, Developing Countries, and so on – all worlds to maintain division of the world into multiple different categories. My question is this: why maintain this division?
The sun rises and sets in all parts of the Earth we live with. If we we all are human and have a creator god, the same views on prayer, greed, spiritual awakenings/development, prayers for peace, and forgiveness as all part of our faiths, why continue to keep humanity categorized in different boxes of organization based on what kind of human we are and what kind of faith we have?
I remember when I was in school in the 1990’s and I was reading a story on segregation in the North America during the 1960’s. In this story, there was a white boy and a black boy, both the age of 5 and did not start school yet, and they did not see each other based on their skin color – they saw each other as what they are: humans and good friends. They would play with each other in the sandbox, play the same games with each other and share so many laughs. Sadly, due to the organizational structure at the time, both children had to go to different schools based on color and could no longer be friends.
Today, as I skim through social media and see different posts of people sharing pictures of black children and white children hugging and laughing, I am always reminded of this story I read in my youth. Sadly, stories that I read in the 90’s and these pictures I see today are drowned out by the mass tidal wave of videos of riots, protests, and the repercussions of being different if not a particular skin tone or religion. Events such as September 11th has allowed people to think of the Muslim nations as a world all their own – as if it was not part of the “civilized world.”
My questions is this: what is the point of maintaining division to the point of dividing humanity in hate and anger?
Faith and religion has been a foundation for many cultures and many people on the planet we all live with and if we already have prayer, God, peace, forgiveness, and the denunciation of greed in common within these faiths, then I find that there are more reasons to find similarities between us, as humans, than keeping humanity and life in boxed differences.
With this, what reason(s) do we have to view all faiths and people different and divided? My answer is none. What reasons do we have to view all faiths and people as different, but the same? My answer is many. The differences in our lives and our faiths do not need to be divided anymore. When we find more ways on how our faiths and lives are more similar rather than different, then we can learn from our different ways we grew from the same seeds and build the peace we, as humans, all deserve.