“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Teresa

I’m asking my Dad if he watched the RNC and the DNC on television. And he says, he’s fed up of hearing about American politics. Besides, he adds, it doesn’t concern us in India. So me, being me, I start to argue about how the world is no longer what it used to be, and everything that happens in the world does affect us. He says that we ought to focus on the politics in our country, and how the present government is slowly crushing minorities here. I tell him that Trump’s hate politics targets groups of people based on religion and ethnicity will affect our country….

A phone call and the rain put a stop to the discussion, but his argument stays with me.

It makes me recall one of Anthony D’mello‘s parable which I’d like to share with you.

There was once a country where it became possible for everyone to develop and acquire their own nuclear bombs – small ones, the size of hand grenades, but powerful enough to blow up an entire city.

A bitter debate raged over the right of private citizens to possess such explosives – till they came to the following compromise:  No one would be allowed to carry a nuclear bomb in public without a license, but what people did in the homes was their private concern.

I’m talking to a group about missing children. Someone tells me that since most of the children on the streets are from poor backgrounds (her opinion), the country would be better served if compulsory family planning was enforced among the poor. I have no argument to offer in response. What can I say? I thank her for her opinion and move on.

When did we become so immune to the pain of others? When did we stop caring as individuals and groups are the target of hatred? How can we sit by and watch injustice rule? How can we let hatred divide us and seek to govern our countries and the world?

We cannot say what happens to another does not affect us. We must speak up.

We cannot and must not play into the hands of evil forces causing hate and division. We cannot let our fears of things and people who are different from us rule our lives. Black or white. Rich or poor. Hindu or Muslim. Christian and Jew. We belong to each other. Until we realize this, we will have no peace.

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.
Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.
Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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