How are our actions different than our beliefs? Herein are our fears revealed.
Please discuss. How does this play out in life?
I’ll start us out. There are beliefs we hold dear—the importance of kindness, the essential equality of all people, unconditional divine love, the right of all of us to have the opportunity to enjoy a good life. These are the tenets on which our society is based. We firmly believe in them , yet every day the news brings fresh examples refuting their existence—rude and mean-spirited public discourse, discrimination based on race, age, or sexual identity, belief that God favors one type of religious belief over another, inequality of opportunity for education, employment, and health care.
We may reason that the folks subject to this gap between ideals and reality somehow deserve the difficulties they experience. If we’re honest with ourselves, the reality is that see them as somehow different than us, and we believe that difference justifies the inequity. We’re afraid of their difference, of what we may not know or understand, and our fear drives us to be hostile, discriminatory, or at best, indifferent to their lesser treatment.
Today’s message reminds me, particularly in this turbulent election cycle, to be aware of when my thoughts, word, and actions diverge from my ideals. My fear—separation consciousness—may drive me to mentally classify others as somehow different than me, but I do not have to permit it to shape my words and actions. I have the free will to decide what will guide my life, love or fear. Love will see me safely and surely across any divisions I may perceive between myself and others.
How about you? How do you see others as different than you and what does this reveal about your fears?