You could make a difference
Daily Mirror Editorial
Nov 9, 2011

As a responsible upholder of truth and a voice that speaks on behalf of the people, that seek information and enlightenment, we are more often than not, perturbed by the way our nation is heading. Violence seems to be the order of the day. It is being witnessed not only in the political sphere, but also among the people. Society is resorting to violence to mete out justice, in the face of a breakdown of law enforcement, for the protection of the people’s rights.

We boast of the prevalence of four major religions in our nation. One needs ask, if religion is not meant to be an answer to the malady we endure. After all, it is meant to bring justice, righteousness and peace. If they are not there, then something could be quite wrong in the way we practice our religions.

The appalling silence of most religious leaders at a time when people are facing untold confusion and turmoil is saddening and unspiritual to say the least. Faith has to be accompanied by action. Religion should not be a substitute for action. Any religion could become meaningless, if we use it as an excuse for not acting. One’s individual growth in spirituality has meaning only when it begins to positively influence society. Like yeast in the dough, or salt in the food, our involvement in the neighbourhood or social problems or issues has to enrich, make wholesome and give fulfillment. Our life has to create an impact, wherever we find ourselves. That would be the ultimate purpose of religion.

If our secular and religious leaders cannot make their voices heard, due to self-interest, or even the lack of concern, then we need to tap into the reservoir of truth that lies within our own hearts. We know that violence begets violence and more violence. We counter it with what faith teaches, “Love your enemies.” If religion does not take us to this realm, then we need to challenge it. Loving enemies could be terrifying to the cowardly and faint hearted. It needs to be realized, that it is the prerogative of the strong. Knowing this would release the strength that’s needed.

Violence could spring forth between spouses or family; in political playing fields; the diaspora or wherever there are areas of discord that cry for reconciliation. We may start by releasing thoughts of forgiveness and love, to such who disturb, provoking violence in our hearts. Let’s remember, hope for peace, does not spring from political solutions or negotiations it begins with the changing of individual hearts. Unconditional love for the other side and forgiveness, for those who have hurt us, are the only principles that would lead to healing and a better way for us all. May these insights be our contribution to mirror a new perception you could choose to have and share with not only your loved ones, but also those you find difficult to accept and love. It could make a big difference to the history of our nation.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka