Imagine two girls of same age, race and ethnic background. Now imagine one girl is a Christian and the other is a Muslim. Now imagine what if the Christian girl is not wearing a Cross or what if the Muslim girl is not wearing the Hijab. They are both wearing white t-shirts and blue jeans. Now tell me – would you be able to identify who is which judging by their looks? The answer is a simple NO. Now ask each girl what or who she believes in and she speaks out loud her religion.
They both speak out because the information asked from them are stored in their brain cells. Other than hearing it from their mouths it is impossible to determine who is following what religion.
Gandhi once said, “God has no religion.” God is not Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist or Hindu. All of our religions are human attempts at articulating our religious experience and hopes and as such, we should get past talking about who is right and who is wrong. While we cannot prove many doctrinal claims what we can know from immediate experience is that love is better than hate. Forgiveness is to be desired rather than holding onto resentment. Peace is preferable to war. We can acknowledge that spiritual people want to transcend prejudice, abuse of the poor, neglect of the sick, spoiling the earth or abandoning our vulnerable children or elderly. So, let compassion be our faith practice and let love be our religion.
Now lets change the scenario a bit and make one girl of Arab origin and the other Caucasian. They both have the same dress on still but now those of you who are reading have immediately pondered upon the thought who is what. It has become “easy” to distinguish one from the other now even without the Cross or the Hijab. The Arab girl knows which God to follow as so does the Caucasian girl.
Now lets take two Arab girls with the same dress, race and ethnic background. None wearing the Hijab or the Cross. But this time one is named Mariam Musa and the other is named Mary Moss.
Author’s note – “YOU MUST BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD.” was indeed said by Gandhi, but not in English. He spoke those words in Hindi (official language of India) and so it happens some words got “Lost in Translations”. So sometimes the saying can be found using “we” instead of “you”. As in the Hindi language “we” and “you” can be expressed using the same word “hamlokh”.