Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Stay on Facebook or leave? My thoughts on the 22nd July 2014

I thought of leaving Facebook because of all the vitriol I am reading. But there is so much good about Facebook.

If you take sides in any of the conflicts without considering the other side's view and without going to the countries concerned to find out for yourselves what is going on, then please unfriend me.

If someone came up to you and said you have 3 choices: change to my religion; pay me 5 ounces of gold; or die; you might say that there is no freedom anymore.

If you want freedom, you need to be free inside your self.

We need societies with Freedom of Speech, with Freedom of Association, with Freedom of Religion, or the choice not to have a religion, with Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

One of my friends said that non-believers must pay a tax to stay alive. I said that would be like people who don't believe in e-tolls and who don't pay the e-tolls being told that they will be shot.

Come on people. Please don't be ignorant. Please speak and ask and discuss and spend as much time understanding as you do attacking.

99.999% of each of us is exactly the same, but we constantly put that tiny 0.001% in front. That tiny difference caused by the way we think. We should be able to think differently, but we shouldn't have to think that if we think differently that people will hate us or love us, or look down on us or look up to us.

I pray that we will find compassion in our hearts to love the "stranger", to love the "other". The word "stranger" is one of the most widely used words in the Old Testament. And that is for a reason. We must take the time to understand the stranger. And in many cases the stranger is someone sitting at our Dining Room Table!!

I have unfriended two people today who I know mainly on Facebook. They are both people who have an incredibly good track record of looking beyond the hearsay that they hear, and finding the truth behind what is happening, but both of them have taken sides without considering the "other". And I don't care which side you take!

And I have stayed connected to the "other" to a friend who is prepared to listen, even though she has a view. And this leaves a door open for two strangers to get to know each other.

In 1982 at the age of 17, there were 3 people in my residence in Stellenbosch who wanted to convert me. I came up with a very wise saying: "Whatever happens in our discussion tonight, we will remain friends exactly where we are now at the beginning of our discussion." And this saying has served me in good stead of have discussions about race, religion, gender, politics, and all sorts of things that might have ended badly, but for the fact that our discussion didn't change our relation as it was at the beginning of each of these discussions.

So I care that you take the side of compassion, of truth, of generosity, right conduct, forbearance, dedication, meditation and wisdom and that you get rid of intolerance, ignorance, jealousy, hatred, greed, etc.

If your heart is filled with blame and with a lack of taking responsibility for your own place, then please open your hearts to the possibility that it can be filled with love and compassion for yourself, for your soul, and that should you find yourself in this frame of mind that you will find others to help you remove the blame that you have. Blame is the oldest emotion we have. It started in the Garden of Eden. Just as it starts in all of our gardens.

So again please everyone. Let us try to understand each other, and lets not be strangers.

No comments: