Learning to Get Along With People of Other Religions
by: Joseph Knapp
But, it is getting scarier and scarier with each new day that approaches and each new war that erupts. It seems that we can’t seem to get along because of our differences. I admit that some differences are intolerable. People who consciously commit crimes cannot be tolerated. People who intend to hurt others cannot be tolerated. People with differences such as these are not the kind of differences I am referring.
What I am talking about are the various people of different religions, cultures, belief systems, traditions and the like. Our differences are beautiful and I have no idea why we can’t simply embrace our differences rather than let our differences bother us.
It is in our human nature to be apprehensive. When you see someone with a drastically different hairdo and clothing style than yours, you might find yourself a little shocked. That shock tends to turn into worry because it is in the human nature to question those differences we have among ourselves. If a person is different in one way, are they different in other ways?
That’s being human. It starts at the surface with a simple hairdo and boils down to the deepest thoughts of whether or not they share our values. It’s important that we feel safe around people who are drastically different than ourselves. So, we need to know if they share our values.
Across all the religions and spiritual beliefs, there are similarities we all enjoy. Many of these are easy to recognize without diving deep into doctrine. All religions and spiritual beliefs embrace that it is wrong to murder others. We also have at our core of beliefs that we do not steal from others and we do not lie to each other. These are just a few of the values that we all share.
Even a person who does not follow a religion or have a spiritual belief is embedded with these same core values. Community raises us up to at least have respect for each other and that would be where most of these core values come. A person who has never killed before finds it hard to do when encountered with that scenario. That is because embedded deep down is a set of laws that it takes a great deal of energy or a moment of lapse to break.
So with these core values in place, why can’t we seem to get along with other people of other cultures? It is an astounding question. There are so many people who want to be different, but are put off by people who are different. There are quite a few people in this world who want to conform and are closed to the options in this world that could make their lives more fulfilling.
The more we learn about those around us, the more comfortable we get in our world. You will find that our differences are a beautiful thing to embrace. You will also find that there are more similarities than you think.