In the wake of yet another terrorist attack, I am reminded of not only where our country is headed, but where our world is headed. I am scared for our generation and even more, for my son’s generation. Why is there so much hate in the world? Is it a lack of understanding of others who are different, or is it something else? Something even deeper.
While I don’t, and most likely never will understand how or why people would be willing to kill others and themselves to prove something, I feel that I must try. I feel that the only way to solve this problem, is to understand the root cause. Buddhism teaches the law of cause and effect. Everything we do leads to a chain of events that cause something else to occur. Sometimes we only see the effect and must dig deep to find what the root cause was. Only then can we keep that event from happening again. In order to learn from our past, we must understand it first. In order to understand these events, we must dig deep down to find the root of the issue that is causing them.
Perhaps we need to look not only at the people who are committing these atrocities, but to ourselves as well. Maybe we are buried in the roots. When we call for discrimination against others, it causes “others” to dislike us back. And discrimination and mistreatment can lead to anger and frustration. Anger and frustration can lead people to do horrible, unthinkable things.
We have all been angry or frustrated at one point or another. For most of us, thankfully, we are able to overcome the anger and frustration. But imagine centuries of anger and frustration being built up. From generation to generation it is passed on because of mistreatment and discrimination against a certain group of people. Even the “good” ones, the ones who believe in kindness and love can begin to be hardened as more and more of their “group” are shown hate and unkindness. Do we want to lose the support and help from the Muslims who haven’t been hardened? If we continue to point to ALL of Islam as what we perceive to be the root of the problem, this is what will happen.
Right now, we as a country need to come together. We as a world need to come together. We need to agree that all people should be treated equally. That all people are deserving of love and are capable of goodness. ISIS WANTS us to point the finger at all Muslims. They WANT to divide us. This is how we let ISIS and any other extremists win – whether they are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, atheist, black, white, or yellow.
Please stop hating people who are different than you. Please stop hating people or cultures that you don’t understand. Learn about them. Talk to them. Understand them. If you do this, they will learn about you. They will talk to you. They will understand you. This is the only way to spread peace. There will always be disagreements, misunderstandings, and even hate, but it is the way WE handle those situations that will shape our world.