Love Is The Final Fight
Joel Eschenbach • September 03, 2017
What happens when people lose their commonality? When a society that was once united under one ideology becomes divided into competing, rival world views?
Lets start with people of faith - I'll use Christianity as an example because of my background. Christians believe that there's one way to be in right relationship (or at peace) with God. That one way is by believing in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. By believing, you not only have peace with God, but you're also granted a place with God and other believers in Heaven after you die instead of being tormented eternally in hell. The ultimate hope then for Christians is that one day all people will believe in Jesus so that all might be "saved" and live as one, unified people in Heaven. Evangelical Christians in particular devote their entire lives to teaching this good news to everyone in order that all might share in this divine bliss for all of eternity.
But what about people who don't think this is true? There's been way too many historical tragedies where Christians have forced others to accept their worldview or be put to death. History is also filled with accounts of empires and narcissistic leaders who have killed Christians that refuse to denounce their faith.
If you're not a religious person you might instead define yourself as a humanist, agnostic, or atheist in which you believe that God doesn't exist (or is at least not involved in the affairs of humanity), that all humans have inherent equal rights, and that whatever someone personally believes to be true is true to them. You may think that its best not to tell others what and how to believe. You might argue that what matters most is that all humans are to be treated as fair and equal individuals. You may feel as if religious people are close minded, control freaks that need to get out of your business. Or you may brush them off and say, "You be you, and I'll be me."
So, how do people of such different belief systems and world views coexist in everyday life without becoming violent at worst, or highly segregated at best? They have to agree on ideologies that transcend (or fit into) their individual world views or belief systems.
In America, over the last few hundred years we've had many of these shared ideologies that have held us together like glue: democracy, capitalism, nationalism, and even a shared belief in God as supreme moral authority or the common goal of economic growth. Transcendent belief systems like these are vital to the unity of any state, country, or society.
But over the past few decades, it seems like we've seen a decrease in our united trust and belief in some of these societal structures. As our exposure to a myriad of other beliefs and cultures, and our increase in knowledge as a result of science and access to technology has increased, our local and national world views seem to be disintegrating. What rises to the surface looks more divisive than ever, leaving some clinging to extreme radical beliefs and others left with our heads spinning.
I have no credentials or authority to discuss this topic in any real detail, but for me, it's about uniting under a larger worldview. One that's rooted in something more expansive than our national identity, religious beliefs, cultural identities, or economic ideologies.
A belief that humanity is already ONE. We are the same species with similar struggles, fears, doubts, joys, and pain. Despite all of our differences, and in light of the modern connectedness of the world, is it possible for all people to be unified under the flag of LOVE?
I realize this is an epic rant full of cliché and maybe even naive ideas, but what's the alternative? We're headed towards a unified world economy, we've experienced world peace that's unprecedented in human history, and we are more socially connected than we've ever been. Is it possible to fall back into our tribes and the divisions of the past? Maybe, but what will that look like and at what cost?
Belief systems, doctrines, and creeds should always come second to loving ALL people. I'm tired of fighting and would rather embrace love. Like John Perkins said, "Love is the final fight."
Now I'm not saying that love is easy. Sometimes it requires boundaries, patience, empathy, and acceptance. But the ultimate goal is worth the struggle.
If change and forward motion is inevitable, then I want to move forward and continue to deal with my own insecurities, prejudices, and hate so I can be about the worldview of love!