Saturday, February 26, 2005
The Power of Understanding
Why should we be thinking about understanding?
Understanding is probably the biggest key to achieving love, peace and harmony.
Only when we really understand each other can we truly forgive, accept and come to love. Look at the problems that society faces today, war, bitterness, hatred, crime, greed, envy, racism, starvation, poverty, sexism? the all are as a result of a lack of understanding.
One of the greatest attributes of our church is it's understanding of multiple beliefs, it's acceptance comes through the fundamental understanding that love of god, in whatever form is good.
Man created churches and faiths, I believe that there is one god and that man has created many different faiths and churches for this one god, we may use different language, we may have differences in what we believe is right and wrong, but we all have a fundamental belief in god and a set of basic moralities that have come from him.
We have a duty to god, to be the best we can, and to be the best we can, we need to have understanding of each other. The problem is that sometimes we think that we know the facts because we have read them in newspapers, magazines and have heard them on TV. But have we really questioned what we have heard? Have we really been given all the facts, or have we being manipulated by advertisers, governments or spin doctors to only hear one side of the facts.
If we do not question, but mearly accept the facts we are given, then perhaps the deliberately engineered misconceptions created by those with access to media will prevail and our understanding will not improve.Perhaps this is easiest to illustrate with an example. I was born, grew up and still live in England. During my childhood, the news was constantly filled with the stories of terrorist atrocities in the Northern Ireland conflict.
As a child I could never understand why these "evil" people were doing such terrible things. As time progressed the violence escalated, car bombing in England started to happen, we used to look under our cars before we got in to check for bombs. Fortunately the Northern Ireland conflict has subsided, indeed, it is now possible to see that this conflict will be resolved without violence and the peace could be permanent.Northern Ireland though illustrates understanding.
As a child I could not understand, not because I was unable but simply because the information I had was incomplete. The English had occupied another country, and not surprisingly some of the people who had been occupied didn't like it. Indeed we also put a lot of our civilians into the occupied territory in order to secure the territory. The people whom we had seen as terrorists were only terrorists from our point of view, for the Irish they were freedom fighters, but due to the control of the media I never understood this.
Indeed in other parts of the world the Irish were seen as the victims, America had a great deal of influence with NORAID which funded the freedom fighters.Over a period of time, the truth has come out, we now understand much more about the conflict, what the issues are, we have even forgiven the freedom fighters (terrorists) and released them from our prisons. This has improved understanding and has lead to peace in Northern Ireland, which is a great achievement.
But why were we not given the facts at the time, why were we deceived with propaganda, to further or save the career of some now unknown politician who couldn't allow us to back down. We had decades of fear, hatred, violence and death, just because we didn't understand enough, because we didn't ask questions, we didn't believe the unpatriotic IRA sympathisers when they told us the truth we were brainwashed by the media. The people who suppressed the truth, were probably just as ignorant as we were, they were probably following party lines and supporting a war on terrorism without questioning the issue facing them.We know some information on some things but do we understand them, have we weighed up the pro's and con's or are we just going along with the flow?
Is there a relationship between our ignorance and our failure to be creating a better world for everyone, is it important, does it matter? We must question what we are told if we are to understand better what is happening in our world. Only through that better understanding can we really start to achieve some of Gods goals; such as for us to live in a harmonious world without poverty, war and suffering. Perspective affects our interpretations; information is never as complete as we think it is. Time tends to let information leak out, but there are a lot of people holding it back and hiding it.
All the time the information is suppressed, evil is free to do it's biding.If we are to serve God and our fellow man then it is our responsibility to find out the truth, to question everything and to spread our truth, as we see it, as far and wide as we can.
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