Several years ago my heart was rent by a series of violent episodes that had occurred in our world. I was overcome with grief that a human race so capable of technological advancement could not solve its most pressing problems: hatred, violence, and WAR.
One day during my prayer/meditation time I was struck with a series of inspirations about these problems. I first experienced a condensing of the multiple issues plaguing our political, economic and religious landscapes into one pervasive emotion that was responsible for our inability to transcend hatred, violence, and war. That emotion is FEAR.
Examine one individual or all of humanity. Consider what troubles one or that which plagues the entire world. “Peel the onion” down to its deepest layer, and what do you find? FEAR.
Fear of being harmed. Fear of being shunned. Fear of not having enough. Fear of someone having more. Fear of different customs. Fear of alternative ideas. Fear of weakness in oneself. Fear of strength in another.
And so it is that fear drives people to hate one another, to marginalize entire groups, and to wage war between nations. What we need is an answer and a solution to FEAR, and I believe that the next inspiration I received contains the answer and solution we seek.
While I am not trying to highlight one worldview over any other, it just so happens that a very clear and distinct revelation of the solution to fear is found within the Christian faith tradition (How ironic it is that the one who brought us this solution was himself brutally murdered for his message?).
His beloved disciple writes in 1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
Our solution to fear is LOVE. Love not only for OUR families, friends, communities, and traditions, but love also for the families, friends, communities, and traditions of OTHERS, even half a world away.
Hence, we must rescue love from cliché and restore it to its rightful place as the highest of virtues and the best of practices. It is not enough to know this message, or even write or speak about it, we must enact LOVE individually and internationally, and the best way I know how to do this is by tirelessly calling, or even relentlessly begging our world to embrace PEACE.