A man told his grandson: “A terrible fight is going on inside me — a fight between two wolves. One is evil, and represents hate, anger, arrogance, intolerance, and superiority. The other is good, and represents joy, peace, love, tolerance, understanding, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, and compassion. This same fight is going on inside you, inside every other person too.”
The grandson then asked: “Which wolf will win?” The old man replied simply: “The one you feed.” -Anon.
The fight has been heightened inside me these past few months. I have been directly and indirectly exposed to many stories and experiences shared by persons of several faiths and I must say I have found a common trait. I have come face to face with the lowest, most embarrassing and sickening aspects of a movement I have supported and promoted for years.
I have had to face myself too. My own prejudices and intolerance, which have slowly melted away. Then the most wonderful thing happened…. I fell in love with humanity. I could now see a man not with all his shortcomings and sins. But instead I see a man, subject to the challenges and inevitable scars of a past, a childhood that he had no control over. I now see every human being as having a story just like my own. I have fallen in love with the rights of those who cannot cry out for themselves. But now I feel more concerned with their plight than with their presence in a pew.
I remember a graphic picture in class that left me weeping for hours at the condition in which people…. children live. My heart breaks for children especially since they have less say and apparently less rights. I see their large innocent eyes, wondering and waiting for the love that each human being deserves regardless of race, religion or creed.
I see myself in the eyes of many suffering and confused, not necessarily physically but emotionally or mentally or even the socially rejected. I talk big about not caring what people think; all my friends know this. The truth is: I bash my image preserving friends real hard because on the inside I really care even more than they do. I am terrified of being rejected and in the past have taken drastic steps to avoid it. I have the same priority in church. The crowd changes but the principle remains the same… I tried as soon as possible to fit in… My clothes had to be just right to not stand out too much and the behavior had to be in sync with what everyone else was doing… whether it was getting married, exhorting or being actively involved in a department.
But whose life was I touching? I shunned my neighbors because they didn’t have the spiritual revelations that I did. They were obviously heathens with an agenda headed to hell. I could argue on any point of doctrine expertly and rarely lost an argument. Still I rode on this self-proclaimed righteousness, believing that my improved religious status gave me the right. I also found that over time it became harder and harder to love and show the love of Jesus but easier to stick to persons of my belief.
Humans are social beings. Any social organization or group accepts members based on some qualifications and after the period of initiation is over (Proving oneself) then you are slowly integrated into the system of thinking, behaving and speaking.
No matter how much of a rebel you try to be against these ridiculous traditional practices, the environment gets to you. If it doesn’t grate on your nerves, it slowly integrates you until you speak and look just like everybody else. Its not an environment that those who are ‘different; can survive in for very long. You either wont be allowed to actively participate in anything or you will be ignored or spoken badly of. The social part of any human being cannot withstand being ostracized for very long.
I think the root of the problem is that we have placed the rules and regulations on such a high pedestal that love takes a backseat.
Ghandi said: “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are nothing like your Christ”