Guess what I did this weekend?
Well, aside from watching my Cardinals get spanked by the Saints in the NFL Playoffs, I figured out the way to world peace.
Yeah, I know. And it wasn’t even that hard.
First, I was thinking about the reasons why humans on Earth fight with each other. The biggest reason, though certainly not the only one, is this: faith. Why? Because when humans have faith in a god alone, it makes them crazy. It makes them believe their way is the only right way, and others should believe it too.
Here’s a simple example that boils down the history of faith-based fighting into a brief exchange between characters. Imagine these people sitting in a beautiful café at sunrise, enjoying a latte and talking about faith:
The Christian: Jesus is the Lord and the only true path to God’s Kingdom. The Jew: I don’t believe in Jesus. The Christian: You are going to Hell unless you accept Jesus into your heart. The Jew: That’s why we don’t like you very much. The Muslim: Just don’t come to our land and say Jesus is Lord. Allah is the one and only God. And we’ll fight to defend Him. The Christian: Christ is the world’s only savior and those who don’t believe will burn in Hell. Elsie (the pagan): Enough with Hell. Just love and worship the planet, and the people and nature around you. The Christian, The Jew and the Muslim: You’re crazy. That’s worshipping a false deity. The Muslim: You’re no better, Jew.
Pretty soon, the peaceful little café erupts in a firestorm of punches, hate, judgment and lots of spilled coffee.
Isn’t faith crazy?
Now, what if each of these people had faith in their gods, but also in each other? Maybe the conversation would go like this:
The Christian: I’m curious about what you guys believe. The Jew: We basically believe what you do, but without the whole Jesus as savior thing. The Christian: Fascinating. Tell me more. The Muslim: We believe in a peaceful planet, ruled by one God, who we submit ourselves to. The Christian: Sounds lovely. Elsie (the pagan): We worship our Earth and respect our gods and goddesses while exploring spirituality. The Christian, the Muslim and the Jew: Still crazy, but hey, that’s cool. The Christian: I’ll tell you what, I’ll pick up the bill this time. Nice chatting, friends.
Now the café is a place of love and acceptance. Everyone’s beliefs are still intact and each person had the opportunity to gain some knowledge. Would it really be that hard to expand this little café scene to the entire world?
Granted, on the world scene we’re dealing with spilled blood instead of coffee, but the solution is the same. Love each other. Keep faith in whatever gods we choose, but while working to restore faith in the humanity that surrounds us.
Why is it so hard for humans to accept people with different beliefs? Could love and acceptance truly be the keys to world peace? I have faith that they are. What do you think?
Love... to all.
Travis Griffith, who left behind the corporate marketing world, choosing family and writing in lieu of “a comfortable life” financially, is a former atheist trying to define what leading a spiritual life really means. His children’s book, Your Father Forever, published in 2005 by Illumination Arts Publishing Company, Inc. captures only a fraction of his passion for fatherhood.