One of the hallmarks of wisdom is the ability to understand and accept the perspectives of others. It does not require that we agree with the point of view of another, simply that we take the time to see how it is a person may have come to think as they do.
A willingness to understand the perspective of another does not mean we accept all behaviors flowing from that viewpoint. We may indeed understand the reason one of our children is enraged at a sibling, but we cannot condone physical violence. We can accept that a child is bored at school, but that does not mean it is okay to skip classes.
We can apply the same principle to adult issues around subjects such as religion or politics.
If we cannot accept the right of others to think as they do, we create a polarity in which we are right, and they are wrong. We live in a society that can make rules and legislation about behaviors, and hence those behaviors may be labeled right or wrong according to those rules. We cannot, however, maintain that our thoughts and beliefs are right, and that those of others are wrong.
The minute we do this, we create polarity- in which we are the ‘good’ ones, and they are the ‘bad’ ones. We are the ‘chosen’ ones while they are the ‘outcasts’. It then is a slippery slope of projection where the polarity of the all too human mind is projected onto a higher power. It then becomes easier to justify all measure of cruelty and indignity towards our fellow humans, because after all, these people fall outside of the protective web of ones own particular deity.
I fail to see the wisdom in this, and cannot conceive of any deity that is not wise. So I shall let wisdom be my compass, regardless of its source – wherever I find it in my search for what serves the highest good of all of us.
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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