Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Golden Rule

by Jon Dunnemann

In the last fifteen years, whether it be New York, NY, Boston, MA or most recently Paris, France we have come face-to-face with tremendously cruel, horrific, and escalating acts of violence carried-out against innocent and unsuspecting local citizens. An ever-widening attack is being waged on Christianity, Judaism, and Western Civilization by fanatical, fundamentalist, and non-state sponsored Islamic terrorists across the globe.

As one who admittedly knows very little about this subject, I find it all to be quite disheartening which leads me to ask what I believe to be an important question: How did we as a global society ever allow this “kind-of deliberate category error” to develop? There must have been some sort of anomaly: societal condition that remained poorly treated or was altogether neglected for too long in order for this loathing and brutality to have advanced to what is a seeming “Stage IV” level in terms of its degree of harmfulness to everyone.

It now seems that the western world response primarily consists of militaristic amputation of vast geographic regions and absolute mistrust of the opposition in this apparently unresolvable conflict. This draconian option not only appears irreversible, but it continues to shown itself to be equally as dangerous, harmful, and long-lasting not only for those whose job it is to enforce such responses but also for citizens from the various societies from which the continuing military responses have originated.

This seemingly desperate “last man standing” approach to resolving our differences in worldview is likely to lead to only one possible outcome: to have forgotten why we began fighting one another in the first place.

If we are able to be completely honest with ourselves and others, we should be able to see that the root cause for our differences is that the vast number of us have been misguidedly taught through our belief systems and religious dogma that we possess an 'exclusive' claim to truth which in turn puts us at great odds, potentially for an entire lifetime, with those that may see their cultural, social, and religious identities differently.

At the present rate, none of us are going to be around too much longer to have this argument if we are not better able to find a more promising way to bring about increasingly heightened levels of acceptance, love, and mutual respect, trust and understanding.

Without a doubt, it will be a very sad and shameful error on all of our parts if we continue to fail at seeing how an incredible degree of compassion, forgiveness, and wisdom can be found in our everyday life experiences together by embracing more open-mindedness and loving-kindness as practiced under the universal guidance of the “Golden Rule” which is so clearly inherent in all of the major world religions.