Legacy YM


1.8 billion muslims, for the most part non violent. For the most part. But the violent ones are not really muslims in the true sense. The only violence required by any religion is in how we apply its principles rigorously to transforming ourselves into better human beings. 126 years ago, in Chicago, Swami Vivekananda said

"They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal."

He was rather optimistic… but is his a gift of choice - which side do we choose to be on? Obviously not that of the fanatic. But for a man who doesn't believe in the death sentence, can there be a path of love that's reformative? That other powerful word which was MK Gandhi's gift to humanity - ahimsa or non violence. How can I firmly, sternly and with love, help a brother put aside his mad ideas and mad ways? That no one religion or race is superior, that we must indeed "condemn the sin, not the sinner".

Condemning the sin is important here and requires thinking through. Did 19 muslims take down the twin towers or was it 19 tormented souls that had been brainwashed a certain way by seeming "religious leaders"? Islam was only the tool or vocabulary being used to incite these "fanatics" to genocide.

I got into trouble last year during the pulwama attacks for suggesting we should mourn every Pakistani soldier lost since 1971. In principle this is true. Who are we that Indian soldiers only have families or comrades? War does not determine whose right or wrong, only whose left. And it's to be hated in every form because it only brings out the worst in us.

So let's not think of battles that reduce men to animals, so easy to begin and then impossible to end!

Let's conquer our own ability to be polarized by the media, a media that rarely shows character, instead sensationalizing everything. Find someone you have fought with in the past and overcome that Ill feeling. Write letters to people "across the border"

I prefer to align myself to the hymn "make me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred let me bring your love, where there is injury your pardon lord, and where there's doubt true faith in you".

Its 52 years since the Beatles sang "all you need is love" and nearly 2 decades since Savage Garden said "forgiveness is the key to your own happiness". So who did you forgive today? And what bridges are you building?

Remember, we are all wending our way to the same goal!


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