I’ve been contemplating whether or not I should blog about the unrest in the Middle East. It seems so insignificant to call it an “unrest”. Children are being killed in this horrific situation. I want this blog to be about positive topics but I really feel it should also be about my authentic feelings. Right now, the situation in Gaza has my full attention, so I feel compelled to blog about it.
The way I feel about this situation is encompassed in one paragraph in a recent New Yorker article by Rashid Khalidi. “In this surreal, upside-down vision of the world, it almost seems as if it is the Israelis who are occupied by the Palestinians, and not the other way around. In this skewed universe, the inmates of an open-air prison are besieging a nuclear-armed power with one of the most sophisticated militaries in the world.”
Most of the people from Palestine are Muslim and in Israel they are mostly Jewish. I often ask myself why all the hatred? Are they fighting about whose God is bigger and better? Obviously not, it’s all about power, greed and ignorance. Nevertheless religion seems to have a big part in this situation. People are going back and forth insulting each other and taking sides. I have friends from all walks of life with various religious beliefs. We manage to live peacefully with each other and even celebrate our differences.
Getting back to religion, what does it mean to be a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian? What is the purpose of religion? These are some of the questions I ask myself, especially during this time of turmoil. I’ve thought a lot about how I see God. My thoughts have never been to judge who believes in what religion. I think about the miracle that is in this life. I think that it is a privilege to be who I am. I see God in everything. I choose to open the door to spirituality, to see God in all that is beautiful. The more I allow myself to keep my heart open, the more I tend to run into what I need to know. If I want something in my life books fall off the shelf on that topic. It’s as if God is telling me what I need to do. I try to follow my bliss, to do what makes me feel good. I know that being of service of some kind brings me peace and happiness.
I see humanity as a part of me. If I catch myself judging someone of a different background, race or religion I try to feel the connection I have with them and not focus at our differences. I think of all I have and feel grateful. I literally write a grateful list every day. I try to be present to everything in my life. I give my full attention. I try to bring passion to everything I do. I try to be accepting of people and inclusive. I try to see myself in other people’s situation. This is why it’s so difficult for me to see what is happening in Gaza. I wonder if those bombs would be thrown if we could just picture our children, our loved ones, ourselves in the receiving end. I think not.
Maybe if we think of everyone as a collective ONE there would be less war, less hatred and less INHUMANITY.
John Lennon sings,
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.
Wish we could all take a moment to start realizing that the similarities that we share and stop hating, fighting, and killing. Hate is so easy, all we need is one excuse to justify our wrongs. Sometimes, it is harder to forgive and love, but shouldn’t we take the road less traveled? Haven’t we traveled the road to war too often? Well said Laila! Religion is meant to bring us peace not war.