“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
I hear more and more disparaging remarks nowadays about how quickly our world is going to hell in a hand basket. It seems that there is less love, less compassion, less mercy in the world today than there was years ago. (I imagine the people years ago probably said the same thing about their time, though.) While it may seem true that the world appears that way,. you know what they say: appearances may not reflect the real thing.
I think that people, deep down, are very good. I think the structures that they get enmeshed in are what cause the problems. I remember a pilgrimage to the Holy Land that I organized several years ago. When our bus was driving into Bethlehem — Palestinian held territory — our Israeli tour guide had to leave the bus before we could enter their territory.
The Palestinian Christian who boarded the bus told us that he and the people in Bethlehem were no different than the people in Israel. They were good people who desired peace and wanted to live with everyone in peace. He said that the governments — Israel’s and the Palestinian’s — were the ones that kept everyone apart. In many ways that is true, even today. The people there are good, kindhearted people. They are caught up in government leaders who keep demanding a different agenda.
That is just a microcosm of the world today. Humanity is basically good. There are some who stand out in societies, who often lead societies, who make things uncomfortable or even despicable. It is up to us to stand up for others, to care for others, to love others.
No one can make us hate. That is our own choice. No one can make us discriminate. That is our own choice. No one can make us exclude others. That is our own choice. For God’s sake, choose good, not ill. Choose love, not hate. Choose peace, not discord.
Humanity is an ocean. If it desires to do so, it could easily absorb the drops that cause trouble and affliction for so many people. It has to begin with us, though. We cannot wait for someone else to begin the loving or the compassion or the mercy. If we embody those virtues, we might inspire others to do so. Still others might join the throng after that until the tides change and peace and good will swells on the waves and showers down on the people.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for all people, all nations, all societies, that they may abide in peace.