I often sit, thinking of a paradise that only exists in my mind. perhaps it’s the thought of the afterlife, or maybe it’s the thought of hope. but i think of how beautiful the world is. or can be. how everywhere i look around i see art. far surpasing any canvas or show.
Belinda Carlisle sang it best, cause “ooh heaven is a place on earth”. .. just close your eyes and imagine the beauty of the world that exists. what beautiful skies, and mountains, and prairies, and jungles, and deserts, and plains… the world is amazing. life could be amazing… not in my life time. but i hope that at some point we will change. my study of human behaviour in anthropology has taught me that humans have changed in the past– and are constantly changing and adapting to their environments.
this does not have to mean there is no God, or Allah, or Yaweh, or Buddha, or Shiva… it frustrates me when people can’t see how beautifully evolution and religion go together. i never understood why people couldn’t see them as one beautiful theory. i try to explain it- the best that i can. but maybe it only makes sense within my mind. it only shows how amazing and complex life is. how precious life is. who’s to say the big bang couldn’t be the moment God created the world. And perhaps– the six days that God made the world were six long days. that during this time God created different species and made them grow–change; trying to get the world right before God made humanity. people used to live for hundreds of years, so why couldn’t days be longer? clearly all the mysteries of the divine could not be written in one single book. so you have to accept some of it as abbreviated.
i’m not religious. i never have been. i think that all the religions i have read about made good rules to live your life by, but i can’t see how they haven’t been corrupted by humanity over time (no offense meant to anyone who strongly believes in literal translations, this is merely my personal opinion). i often think that we have misinterpreted some of the meanings. i think that heaven and hell exist on earth. we have been given a paradise to live on, we just have to learn to work together to make it a heaven. and if we don’t– it will be hell.
i think all the religions are good messages to us and help to teach us the history of the world. these documents and teachings, whether you believe them or not, are part of the world history. they have influenced massive amounts of people and touched their lives and made them feel whole (or so i imagine). these documents have started wars and inspired leaders. so respect them for that- if nothing else.
human beings have the capacity to change. if you look to the differences between cultures, you begin to realise that the things we take as innate to all humanity, are not. the way we raise our children, the way we treat our old. all the things we take for granted. these differences are not “good” or “bad”, just different.
Some cultural traits rub certain other cultures in wrong ways. perhaps this is because they have a different ecological background and so have had to adapt to the world differently. what’s normal in one society, is abnormal in others. for example, certain cultures have larger needs for personal space when talking to others. in north american culture, we like a lot of space. we feel uncomfortable by the “close-talkers”. but in some societies, a foot of space is plenty in conversation. any farther and they would feel you didn’t like them for some reason. there are tons of non-verbal communication that are personally unknown, culturally relevant and totally confusing. it can spark intense emotions in us and we don’t know why. it just feels wrong.
we are experiencing a massive cultural moment in humanity. for the first time in history we have the capacity to reach the world. we have the capacity to talk and view those in real world time from thousands of miles away.
we can share ideas, and concepts– and learn to work together. or we can keep secrets and make war, and live in fear. there is no need for us to live in fear.
if structural violence is all around us (in the form of corrupt, inequitable or unjust governments), we teach our children that the system is unfair. if the structures we rely on begin acting in fair and humane ways, those living under them will begin to trust the system. they will begin to feel safer from violence. inequity and violence leads to more violence. the cycle goes on. the longer we allow it to remain– the longer we will go on ignoring the past. and we will remain in violence. we cannot let this go on.
the international government must restructure itself to be more equitable. it must begin to enforce crimes when they happen, and ensure that the well-being of humanity and the planet is respected. national governments must work together. they must begin to scruitinize, and enforce equitable policies. and those that violate- MUST be sanctioned. we must stop fueling wars and create equitable governments!
transparency is the key to our future. we must remain open to scruitiny and change. if we funneled the resources we are currently using for war towards conflict transformation, towards creating more equitable structures, structures that ensure that human rights are respected; we could possibly find peace. conflict transformation strategies have proven succesful in many cases. why are we not spending more money and effort on these?
non-violent strategies have made many changes in our history. just look to Gandhi or King or the women’s suffrage movements. humans have changed history with non-violence.
have we learned nothing from the past? after WWI, they said “never again”. after WWII, they said “never again or the world will end”. after the Cold War, we said, “never again or the world will end”. and here we are, promoting war. spending money on war. spending efforts on war. clearly, some never learned the lesson.