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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Either/Or: Compassion/Intolerance

Some of us are Christians, some Muslims, some Jews; some of us are Buddhists, some Hindus (of course, I am far from exhausting the picture). And some of us are Atheists. And some of us are not interested at all in all of these.

Each one is tempted to see its convictions as superior to all others'. Actually each faith only has its specifics and only defines an identity.

There are many faiths, there is one common danger: Intolerance. Religious intolerance and Atheist intolerance. Secularized Europe is intolerant with Muslim veils and minarets. The Middle East conflicts are inflamed by mutual hate. And so on, and so on.

And intolerance is much more dangerous today, because the world is more and more intertwined.

There are many faiths, there is one truth: Compassion. Openness toward the other; toward the identity of the other; toward the needs of the other. Love you neighbor as yourself. Assume the tragedies of the other as yours. Assume the Holocaust. Assume the Gulag. Assume the Red Khmer inferno. Assume the Armenian tragedy. Assume Naqba. Understand the other, understand the differences. respect each identity. Empathize with the identity of the other.

There is a text written by Dalai Lama in today's NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/opinion/25gyatso.html?th&emc=th#). It is worth reading.



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