Do not be content with showing friendship in words alone, let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path.
– Abdul Baha, one of the founders and an early leader of the Baha’i faith
This advice not only proves difficult to employ, but it’s unnatural. In nature, while adults may work together for mutual gain on some occasions within a limited number of species, much of the time “others” are the enemy, competitors for food, mating and resting locations.
Why should we have loving kindness for others when nature tells us that they are enemies and competitors? Moreover, why should we treat them with loving kindness when they care very little or not at all for us?
Because we tell each other that we are different from other animals. Acting instinctively–as nature dictates–makes us no different from other animals.
How can we rise above our natural instincts to be better than other animals? The same way we came to believe that we are better than other animals. We learned that. We can learn how to act the role rather than just pretending that we are better.
That requires us to learn from others who have the knowledge and skills to share with us how to be better. They are few. Others who will teach us humanized ways of being no better than any other animal surround us. Our news, stock market reports, reality shows, beauty pageants, even the various Apprentice programs of Donald Trump show us how to be “natural,” to be humanized apes. And they work. People learn from them and they like them.
Those who know how to be better are reserved about demonstrating their knowledge and skills publicly. Jesus of Nazareth did and see how his own people (fellow Jews) treated him in his last days. The Islamic Prophet Mohammed did. His enemies vowed to annihilate him, but instead he roused his people and became a great warrior and conqueror. Neither of those choices comes easy for most of us.
Many are those who will teach us how to live lives of peace. Their teaching often comes in the form of a religion, which allows them the option of receiving “donations” for their teachings.
The truest teachers don’t want us to be just learners. Instead they want us to learn ourselves, then to teach others. Living life on a higher plain than humanized apes requires those who know to teach those who want to learn.
It doesn’t require us to kill anyone, to become a warrior or to be crucified. Just to learn, offer to teach, then to follow through if our offer is accepted.
Our world does not suffer from a lack of good people. We have too few good leaders who will teach. Without them, we now have few people who publicly state that they would like to learn. Without teachers, the students revile learning. Others have turned to leaders with more earthly motives, leaders who want you to ape (follow) them.
We each were born with free will, the freedom to choose what we want to do with our lives. The first step is to find out what the options are. Second is to choose wisely, then commit to living that way and to teaching it to those who want to learn.
Remember, those who want us to choose their humanized ape lifestyles are extremely aggressive about promoting their philosophy of life. Lacking much opposition from opposing beliefs, they are winning the hearts and minds of a large majority of people all over the world.
The wise among us need not become warriors or be aggressive. But we shouldn’t be quiet either. The leaders with the most effective propaganda win. Noisy or not.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book of blueprints for teaching children, plans that are already being used by the leaders of industry and need to be used as effectively by those who want something better.
Learn more at http://billallin.com