Difference to some means threat. Despite the fact that living in the United States gives everyone freedoms that you can't have if you lived in most countries, people still want you to conform and be like them. And if you are different, speak a different language, or have a different religion than they do, you are something to fear.
It never fails that when things seem to bother me I can go to the place of worship that celebrates my beliefs and hear a message that is so apropos. And yesterday was just that. Last week when I was trying to relay my feelings about this stamp to the person that sent it to me, suddenly the phrase "what would Jesus do" came to mind. I don't profess to be a Christian per se but I do have a spiritual belief. And the message in my place of worship yesterday was just that.
One message was something that Gandhi said. It is: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." (This backs up my question "what would Jesus do").
The other message was a list of things that Jesus would have been willing to die for and it is as follows:
1. Seek reconciliation instead of revenge when you are wronged.
2. Look for creative, transforming nonviolent alternatives instead of repaying violence with violence.
3. Focus on internal transformation in love instead of external conformity to moral codes.
4. Welcome everyone, including outsiders and outcasts, into a new community that celebrates love, justice and respect for all...no matter what.
5. Trust God as your source instead of anxiously chasing after money, security, pleasure and social standing.
6. Make sure you care at least as much about the well being of others as you do for yourself, especially those you consider to be the least among you.
7. Love and forgive your enemies and critics.
Yesterday I found my question answered for me in the form of a sermon or a talk. I think that the fact that some of my questions are being answered almost simultaneously after asking them is something that I need to pay attention to.
Have any of you been watching Oprah's new show on her new OWN network? Yesterday I watched one that we had taped about a town in Fairfield,
I look at the email with this "controversial" stamp as the catalyst for me to ask questions. It helped me be grateful for the fact that I feel that I am evolving in a direction that I can be proud of. I feel that it opened my eyes and allowed me to formulate my own answers and hopefully spread some of the love and forgiveness that is needed if we are to ever move forward in love and light. I hope that I am walking the talk. It is my intention.