Reconciling

How can you go back to something that never was?

When we put a “re” in front of a word it usually means a do over.   When we talk about reconciling the nations or religions of the world, it implies that there was once a time when all nations and religions got along.  Was that ever the case?  I don’t think so.

Aren’t we better off realizing that when we try to work together with people of other faith backgrounds and cultures we are chartering new territory?  The past can teach us that it has always been difficult.  We can study what has been tried and try to understand why it failed.  We can see what worked to some degree and try to improve it.  We would not be burdened with guilt or grieving over losing something that never was.

Acknowledging that we have never gotten along with all other faiths, nations or cultures is a big step.  The next step that needs to come is a profound, soul-searched answer to the question of whether we really want to get along. Only then can we move into new territory of universal friendship.  Most of us, I fear, would be too afraid of giving up our identities in order to make the necessary changes required to fulfill such a vision.

Nations seem to be able to unite better than religions do.  It could be simply because the uniting of nations is based on temporal benefits.  So much of religion is based on the ideas concerning the next life whether that is seen as a heaven/hell dualism or reincarnation.  When that is the case people seem willing to suffer more temporally in the hope of a better afterlife. It seems that we need to set aside ideas about what was and what will be if we are going to do anything about fixing the problems of the here and now.

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