“I love you, my brother, whoever you are–whether you worship in a church, kneel in your temple, or pray in your mosque. You and I are children of one faith, for the diverse paths of religion are fingers of the loving hand of the one supreme being, a hand extended to all, offering completeness of spirit to all, eager to receive all.” – Kahlil Gibran
There are times in my life in which I have become deeply aware of the fellowship I share with everyone else in this world, and others where I have not. It is often easy to isolate myself from those who are not in my circle of friends, to forget the commonality we both face–the joys and struggles, the failures and the successes, the journey and the destination. But that does not take away from the humanity that we share. At our deepest core, we are both the same creation–souls with a deeper purpose and meaning–and this truth seals our bonds of brotherhood for eternity.
As Kahlil reminds us, we are all brothers and sisters, no matter how we choose to live out our faith. It is important that we keep this in mind when we find ourselves failing to understand someone or passing judgment on them. We are not meant to be the same in all ways–we are each unique creations, and therefore have our own paths in life. Perhaps we have never seen each other, nor spoken a word to one another. Still, you and I are closer than we might ever have imagined–we breathe the same air, we read the same books, we experience the same joys and sorrows–and we can therefore call each other brothers and sisters.
Awareness is the key to realizing the ties that bind us as opposed to the things that keep us separate. The tapestry of humanity becomes stronger the closer we grow to one another, and it becomes much clearer the more we focus upon the commonality of our bonds, of the interwoven connection between each of us.
Charles Dickens calls us “fellow passengers to the grave,” as we are all here to do our best while we are alive to make this world a better place. What does this mean to you and me? What responsibilities does this present each of us?
Take a moment to realize the bonds of brotherhood you share with everyone you interact with daily.
Questions to consider:
Do you always realize the necessity of being truly human, of holding all life sacred and treating others with dignity, love, and respect? Do you treat strangers as if they were brothers and sisters? Is this easy to keep in mind?
What would the end effect be if we all were to treat others as if they were beloved relatives of ours, and not strangers?
Are there any specific steps that you can take to work your way towards the goal of loving all other people, no matter what?
For further thought:
“God did not make this person as I would have made him. He did not give him to me as a brother for me to dominate and control, but in order that I might find above him the Creator. Now the other person, in the freedom with which he was created, becomes the occasion of joy, whereas before he was only a nuisance and an affliction. God does not will that I should fashion the other person according to the image that seems good to me, that is, in my own image; rather in his very freedom from me God made this person in His image. I can never know beforehand how God’s image should appear in others. That image always manifests a completely new and unique form that comes solely from God’s free and sovereign creation. To me the sight may seem strange, even ungodly. But God creates every man in the likeness of His Son, the Crucified. After all, even that image certainly looked strange and ungodly to me before I grasped it.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer