Wednesday, June 22, 2016

LIFESTYLE

In the wake of the mass shootings in Orlando, it is appropriate to reflect upon what really matters. Throughout history, men/women, have acted in violent ways claiming to be an agent of G-d. The recent event involved a single gunman killing 49 and injuring 53 other people. Commentators may tell you that the name of the killer, his religion, the gender or sexual orientation of the victims matter. THEY DON"T! We, as fellow members of the human race, can never forget that our highest calling is to "love others as we love ourself."


The perpetrator of this horrendous act was someone's husband, someone's son, he was someone's neighbor! If we forget this irrefutable fact - he was a person - we divert our attention where it never needs to go. If we forget that each of the 49 killed and the 53 injured along with the countless of others who were witnesses or indirectly victimized - were/are people with dreams, aspirations, hopes, loves - we embroil ourselves in a tangential debate.
How we live has a far reaching effect in the world we share. The words we speak can heal or hurt. Our actions can comfort or oppress. When you find yourself speaking about how another person expresses themselves, shows affection, bonds, loves, dresses, "is" - you become a human antagonist! By this, I mean, you assume the rule of prosecutor and judge, rolled into one and self-appointed to be the moral mouthpiece for humanity.

Liberalism (all things are acceptable) however, is as much to blame as religious fundamentalism when it comes to creating division in the world we share. Freedom that is radicalized and overprotected is nothing more than totalitarianism and fascism. The problem in the world is the delusion that there is NO G-D. The reality is that in a G-DLESS WORLD evil can not exist. If nothing is evil, EVERYTHING is acceptable. Then along comes a self-appointed moral soldier who decides to eradicate a threatening group of individuals much the same way that he/she would remove a splinter - with little consideration for the consequences.

As a psychologist, I had difficulty understanding how anyone could think that mandating "good thinking" would be successful. When you cluster like minded individuals, regardless of their ideology, they will all eventually succumb to the pressure to conform. However, when "good thinking" people (those who love others as they love themselves) devote themselves to pursuing deep relationships with others, simultaneously engaged in a personal relationship with G-d in the pursuit of salvation, joy and prosperity ... the world changes dramatically.

Discipleship is a lifestyle of choices, not a sentence of degradation and self-denial.




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