One of the things surrounding the debate about religion and spirituality that is most troubling perhaps, is the entrenched positions that are often taken in the discussion about the subject. Atheists are aggressively taken to task by the religious, while some atheists are less than respectful when actively deriding religion. Religions are often themselves caught in opposing camps as to who is right or wrong.
For those caught in the middle of these extreme positions, there is the added problem of systemic religious mistakes, thoughtless and hurtful comments, and a general confusion as to what exactly is being said. How can any of this help humanity at a time when we all need to be working together as never before in the history of our world.?
I rather liken this problem to a group of people discussing a tree. Imagine an artist, a arborist, a herbalist, and a naturalist all standing around that tree. They would all have completely differing viewpoints, yet it would be interesting to see if the discussion that ensued would be so entrenched with personal, and sometimes offensive rhetoric as we see in any discussion about religion. Even a group of artists would portray the tee differently in their work. It depends on where you stand, how you see, and express your thoughts.
We are all looking at life from different perspectives, and whatever enriches and enlarges that sense of life, spurs us to look deeper and more questioningly, would be listening to others perspectives with interest and humility.
In this super charged atmosphere in which we currently live, where incivility stands as an inherent right, and impatience, fear and aggression all jostle in out minds for a place, making the world a more dangerous environment wherein to live; learning these qualities by whatever means possible is definitely a goal for us to achieve. The question is - how do we do that in a practical way in our community?