For me. Britain’s Got talent is one show that occasionally brings out Britain’s got Heart just when we’ve all slipped into being too cynical about life. Such grace! I love moments like this . take your time and watch the full 7plus minutes.
Let me pick out five that caught my attention.
14.Throw a birthday party for a prostitute.
23.Write only paper letters (by hand) for a month. Try writing someone who needs encouragement or who you should say “I’m sorry” to.
28. Write to one social justice organizer or leader each month just to encourage them.
40. Buy only used clothes for a year.
47. Eat with someone who does not look like you. Learn from them.
Upfront interaction. ..
One very interesting talk we had one day was on the Great Commission and the Dawah. The Dawah is the Islamic equivalent to the Great Commission. Muslims are to share the truth about Allah to the whole world just as we as Christians are to proclaim the truth of who Jesus is. There were some points we all agreed on:
1. None of us want followers in our faith who are not passionate about it or do so out of obligation or force – it must be a heartfelt thing.
2. Each person must have the freedom to think and decide for themselves. Coercion or obstruction is not right.
3. The problem is not with sharing the good news of our faith but how we treat followers of another religion. We should never vilify another religion to make ours look good – ours should stand or fall on the merits of truth – not comparison.
4. We should not confuse following a religion with undercutting a society or disrespecting a culture that may be centuries or millenniums old.
5. Without the ability to change ones religion – there is no freedom of religion.
Practically – how that is put into practice in different cultures with long histories and traditions is another thing. Not long ago at a U.N. meeting I suggested to a Muslim friend that anytime he hears of discrimination or persecution of Muslims in the West or Christian communities around the world I would help him, and when I hear of discrimination or persecution of Christians in the Middle-East or Muslim parts of the world he should help me. He agreed with the idea. At that same U.N. meeting a close Muslim friend of mine shared with me how to be a Muslim and warned of the danger of me not accepting the prophet Mohammed as the last of the prophets. I wasn’t offended at all. I was grateful for him being honest with me about his faith and what it taught. To me, he was showing me that he loved me – that he would risk our friendship to tell me in kindness, as he did, the truth of his faith. I love that man deeply and have high respect for him – he is an incredibly kind man.
another talk to catch up on in due time.
Good area to spend some time thinking about.
I mentioned the language of tolerance is not helpful in relating to especially Muslim friends, RESPECT is much better. How about Reverence?
We must operate from a platform of reverence. Collectively, many of us who have been responsible and influential in the systems that shape our world have done so divorced from the consciousness that our ancestors held for the deep connections we have for the natural world. Reverence has been a capacity of human life that has kept us accountable to each other and to our environments for hundreds of thousands of years. Many of us have shed that reverence and have dulled our sense to the awe that is inspired by a deep connection to the earth, to each other and to ourselves. Reverence is our operating system, and connection is our practice.