When Religion Dissolved and Humanity United


When Religion Dissolved and Humanity United

When Religion Dissolved and Humanity United

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to share a true life story of humanity – when people chose to dissolve religious divisions and unite to save each other’s lives.

First a quick update:

“It’s A Wonderful Life”
What truly makes life wonderful? What is it that gives our life meaning, purpose and satisfaction? The Holiday classic movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” with James Stewart has beautiful and powerful lessons and message. https://patrickwanis.com/blog/lessons-from-its-a-wonderful-life/

Follow me on Twitter– You can now choose to follow me and receive a few words of wisdom on Twitter: @Behavior_Expert   https://twitter.com/Behavior_Expert

“Kids and heroes don’t see skin color”
Temar Boggs, 15, and his friend Chris Garcia saved 5-year-old Jocelyn Rojas who was kidnapped. Children and heroes do not see color and do not seek reward. Watch the video: https://youtu.be/qY58Czn77fA

Now, let’s talk about a true life story of humanity – when people chose to dissolve religious divisions and unite to save each other’s lives.

Let me begin by clearly stating that this article is not about religion nor is it intended to promote any particular religion.

Around Christmas and The Holidays, you will read about and hear many references to the classic movie from 1946 with James Stewart, “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  The movie’s message is that as long as we have friends and people that love us and if we can recognize that we each make a contribution and difference to someone’s life and the world around us, then we can be grateful and recognize that yes, it’s a wonderful life.

However, presently we are being exposed to more and more examples of hatred, divisiveness and acts of terrorism. Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump is pushing to ban all Muslims from entering America; Benzi Gopstein, the leader of Lehava, a far-right organization in Israel is pushing to expel all Christians from Israel, citing the Catholic Church as an enemy of the Jews for hundreds of years, and Christians as bloodsuckers – “The mission of those vampires and bloodsuckers remains. If Jews cannot be killed, they can be converted.”

The point here is that religion can easily divide and when it does, we fail to see what we have in common; we fail to see our humanity, our fragility – we lose our humanity.

This week, in Northern Kenya, a bus with 60 passengers traveling from Nairobi was attacked by the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab. The bus which didn’t have the usual police escort was stopped by a group of militants who sprayed it with bullets.

Abdi Mohamud Abdi, a Muslim who was among the passengers told Reuters that more than 10 al Shabaab militants boarded the bus and ordered the Muslim passengers to split away from the Christians, but they refused.

“We even gave some non-Muslims our religious attire to wear in the bus so that they would not be identified easily. We stuck together tightly…The militants threatened to shoot us but we still refused and protected our brothers and sisters. Finally they gave up and left but warned that they would be back.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kenya-attacks-somalia-idUSKBN0U41LD20151221

Interestingly, in the 7th century, the very first followers of Islam fled from the persecution of the ruling tribe of Mecca and were given refuge in the Christian Kingdom of Aksum, present-day Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The point here is that we can choose to divide or we can choose to unite and express love and compassion. We can choose to separate or choose to be one.

There are many examples throughout history where people have defied hatred and chosen to express the deepest part of humanity, tearing down the walls of separation that we create and risking one’s own life to protect and save another human being.

Oskar Schindler was an ethnic German industrialist, spy, and member of the Nazi Party who saved the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories. His initial motives were to make money, and yet he later he gave his money to save lives.

Oskar Schindler was a man full of flaws who started by earning millions as a war profiteer and ended by spending his last Pfennig and risking his life to save his Jews, the workers he referred to as my children. In the shadow of Auschwitz he kept the SS out and everyone alive.

Oskar Schindler and his wife Emilie Schindler were inspiring evidence of courage and human decency during the Holocaust…a story to bear witness to goodness, love and compassion.

Today there are more than 7,000 descendants of the Schindler-Jews living in US and Europe, many in Israel.  https://www.oskarschindler.com/

We can easily miss, disregard or respond with cynicism to the stories of people who are willing to stand together for what is right; willing to see beyond what divides and separates us externally (religion, color, caste, creed); willing to discover what makes us all the same; willing to see the humanness and fragility in all of us; willing to risk their own life, to protect one’s brothers and sisters.

And when we look back over these stories of acts of love, we notice that in the same way that James Stewart’s character in It’s A Wonderful Life awakens to realize that he made a difference in people’s lives, we can see that those Muslims on the bus that chose to protect the Christians, and Oskar Schindler who chose to protect 1,200 Jews, made a huge difference saving people’s lives.

We, too, can choose to express love and compassion whenever and wherever possible. We, too, can choose to give meaning to our lives by realizing we are one, equal, and by choosing to express great love and compassion, we can contribute positively to other people’s lives.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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