It’s Sunday morning and I’m cruising through face book and I see this quote from Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and writer: “We must take sides; neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.”
Then, a few posts down I see this, “God seeks our authenticity.” From Justin Tanis, from the Pacific School of Religion.
The first thought got me thinking, should we be attacking Syria for its crimes against their own people? I mean, they have been killing each other for a long time now. )I don’t know how long, I do try to keep positive about life and I keep sending love and light there and everywhere in this Universe, but I try to not get too much into the negative in the world. My thought is to know enough of what is happening and send as much assistance as possible.)
It’s like letting the Holocaust go on for so long…what’s the quote about not doing something to help others until they (meaning the ‘bad guys’) come for you? And the second quote asks me what is mine to do so I remain ‘authentic’?
Well, then we have to ask ourselves, what is my definition of being authentic? What is authenticity to myself? What does that mean?
And that takes me to our classes where we are discussing “The Four Agreements” and “The Fifth Agreement” by Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz. Here we are asked again and again, “What do we believe?” We have been ‘domesticated’, Don Jose’s word, I believe, by society and family and education and religion, etc., to believe all kinds of things, often without a single thought about what it really means.
But do we REALLY believe them?
Or, better yet, do we know WHAT it is we say we believe?
Don’t know. I’m working on all that…daily. As things come up I have to ask myself how I want to respond to it. Or even, do I want to respond to it? Where does the challenge fit into my integrity? Do I need to look at my integrity again and check it with what I believe today?
All interesting questions…at least for me.
So, where does that lead us with the original question in this essay? Well, it asks how do you ‘take sides?’ There are many ways to do that. It could mean advocating bombing Syria if we continue using that situation as an example for discussion. It could mean agreeing with the solution at hand. It could mean writing our representatives with our opinion. It could mean praying and sending positive energy to those involved with the choices that must be made in this complicated world.
It could even mean doing nothing. That’s what choice is all about. And it’s a choice with integrity that we are looking for when and if we respond.
So, what do you think? Have you thought about what it means to take sides? Do you know what your integrity stands for now? Are you questioning what you believe about everything? Do you understand what people are saying to you or are you just agreeing without even thinking?
Or better yet, are you listening?