Whether you are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Atheist, Hindu, Buddhist or you identify with any other religion on this shared globe, you can love these two, hurt for them and hope for them. Whether you are Syrian, American, French, Korean, Kenyan, or any other nationality on this immense earth, you can can recognize their humanity, their need and their beauty.
I don’t care what they are wearing, either religiously or culturally… I feel like I’m watching a video of my own grandparents. I see my wife, and I see me. I see love and pain. I see two human beings.
Their marriage sounds so different than our marriage, but then again our marriage (at the ages of 19 and 21) seems more than a little crazy to some of our friends who are just now getting married in their late 30’s and 40’s. I hope that my wife and I can make such joy of our love at such an age. I hope we can one day make a whimsical video about our 65 year love affair.
I also hope we don’t reach that milestone just to be bombed from our home and driven into a refugee camp. I pray that we always know where our children are and that we can see them and speak with them and know they are safe.
Syria is not so far away after all. I haven’t done enough.
I launched a website today that I have pondered for a couple of years and worked on for the last week: showsomehumanity.com
The website is a hope and a prayer that we can have some deep conversations about being better human beings in the midst of our amazing diversity. It’s intended to be for everyone, people of any or no religion, of any and all traditions and backgrounds. It won’t be perfect, and it’s starting small, but I hope it grows and becomes a voice for good.
One aspect of the site will be exploring monthly human values. We’re starting off with January’s human value of kindness, and then in the coming months we’ll explore compassion, empathy and forgiveness.
Let’s get real. We won’t wake up tomorrow to find that we all suddenly look, think or want alike. You won’t wake tomorrow to be just like me, or vice versa. We will always have our dissimilarities just as we’ll always have our similarities. We will always be diverse and we will always be one human family sharing one earth. It’s time to recommit to showing some humanity. It’s time to affirm that we love this big human family into which we are born, and we’ll work to make it the best family it can be for all.
You’ll see a lot of my own DNA in the new website, but I hope that changes over time. My daily prayer of loving, learning and serving is being recast there as a “hope” for folks who don’t pray, or a mantra for daily action and life. I still believe in prayer, of course, and it is a prayer for me. But those words may not function as a prayer for everyone. Even deeper is my belief in loving, learning and serving. These are themes that transcend and surpass me and my experience. They are hopes for who I can be and how we can share life together. They are gifts for the whole species, and so however I come to them or you come at them, they are good and needed.
I appreciate your friendships and encouragement. I will appreciate your help and direction in the coming months as the new website is established and grows. I have some guides for making content for the site, and if you’d like to write something, I’ll check it out and help get it posted on the site. General guides are: 1) your writing needs to be brief and concise, as in 500 words or less, 2) if your writing includes a graphic, we cannot break any copyright laws, so don’t just grab a picture off the web; make one yourself or ask me and I’ll help make some orignial artwork, and 3) you should love the people you hope will read your words and write for their benefit. And past those guides, I ask that: 1) the website not become a place to share judgements, 2) that the website is not a place for competition between ideas, religions, traditions or philosophies, 3) that the website is a place to listen, and 4) that this website is a place to ask good questions.
If you’re interested in the way I am processing and thinking about these things, and especially if you’re thinking I’m moving away from spirituality and my religious faith, then I offer a past blog post about recognizing how some things are greater than and transcendent of our frameworks and words. For me, everything I do is religious. Everything I do is an act of faith and an act in faith. In the end, I’m going to be very vulnerable to an accusation of becoming a humanist in the contemporary anti-theistic application of the word. That’s ok, even though it’s not true. I like an older more classical understanding of the term which indicates a general love of humanity and belief in humanity’s potential and goodness. That’s where I am, as a human and as a human who is a Christian.