What DO you believe in?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that he needs no church because his church, his belief, is simple: Kindness.

If you think about it, the very deepest core of all religion is that: kindness. To one another. To nature. To oneself. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us humans consider much more than the concepts of our religious beliefs and go directly to the dogma. We want to be TOLD what to do and how to think because – it’s easier. It is much easier to read something than to think it yourself. Words are easy. Ideas are not.

Kindness, compassion, love and benevolence may seem to be simple concepts on the outside but can be very complex when you get below the surface. Oddly enough, once you get all the way to the core, these concepts become simple again.

Concepts, like love, drift in and out of our lives on so many levels. I love ice cream. I love sunsets. I love classical music. I love my dog. I love my child. I love my partner. I love my God. I love myself. These statements, while all containing the word, love, mean TOTALLY different things based on the object of that love. Consequently, that word – and why English (and other languages) has only one word for love (care, adore, fondness, lust and affection just don’t cut it!) baffles me – and then meanings get misconstrued. People hear or read one thing and think/feel another.

And miscommunication, misunderstanding, mistakes – sometimes chaos and horrible life decisions – ensue.

You can now see why it is incredibly important to make specific statements when communicating your beliefs. If you do not, problems can/will arise and you won’t even realize that it was you, yourself that created the environment for misconception.

In my lectures, I remind everyone that no one sees, hears, tastes, smells or feels things exactly the way you do. No one. I use the example of the color: red. When I say it, everyone creates that color in their mind’s eye. If there are 20 people in the room, 20 slightly different colors will be imagined. 100 people, 100 colors, and so on.

So when you say something, be as clear as possible. There is an entire branch of comedy based on misreading or mishearing words. Puns. Play on words. But quite often, folks won’t get any humor out of misunderstanding something that was not spoken clearly in the first place.

What has this got to do with beliefs? Just about everything. We so often believe what we see and hear. Some go to their grave believing misconceptions. Religion isn’t the only belief system – surprise, surprise. We tend to think that books, movies, television and the news represent accurate facts. We believe them and pass them on.

Yup! Text books don’t always get it right. And neither does the news: The Wright brothers were not the first humans to fly in a mechanical contraption. Folks before the Greeks used advanced mathematics. America wasn’t discovered by Christopher Columbus. In July 2021, the pandemic is still raging and increasing in numbers even if it isn’t front-page news. The list goes on. These are beliefs based on misconceptions.

Whatever YOU believe is your truth. If you wish to share your truth, please make sure it doesn’t trample someone else’s. You can’t change a person’s mind to believe what you do. You can, however, educate someone in facts (FACTS with no less then 3 different sources) that will enlighten them to change their own mind.

Once you follow this path, you may begin to see the bigger picture. Kindness is the only church you need.

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