Empathy, compassion, gratitude are some of the emotions that come to mind when I think of how people connect with one another. The ability to reach across our emotional divide and be able to feel for another individual who is from a completely different world than your own is still a difficult cross roads for most humans to embrace.
Over the past several months, I have been thinking about what it means to have a well rounded heart. The thought that occurred to me is “ACTS.” What we as humans do with our emotions that affect our actions towards one another. For instance, if you harbor anger, jealously, hate, prejudices, self-righteousness and resentment towards another individual the decisions you make on a daily basis are acts carried out to hurt that person. Now, people will fool themselves in believing that those negative emotions could not possibly belong in their hearts. After all, folks say of themselves, “ that’s not me because I pray, meditate, go to church dutifully and was saved by” Jesus, Jehovah, I AM or Allah or experienced a spiritual awakening. Somehow, we disconnect our everyday acts and emotions with how we treat one another. As a child and up to present day I’ve belonged to and visited many places of worship across the country. Each place had its own rituals, scriptural beliefs and interpretations and ways of spiritual healing. What I have learned is a lesson that has come full circle back to some teachings of my high school world history teacher who was also a minister, who during the summers traveled back to his home country church. In this world history class we were assigned many varied religious readings and debated historical and religious beliefs. The teacher gave us space to express our thoughts while he moderated and interjected factual evidence. He had a good way of redirecting the students to find common ground or guiding us to recognize our individual or collective thoughts that led to our own conclusions rather than being pressured into someone’s own ideology or agenda. The teacher never seemed to judge or separate a student for their religious or cultural beliefs. This atmosphere made for an open environment where people felt safe from division, isolation and bias judgment. The summary of my conclusion was that there is some truth in most religions and at the end of the day, after the scripture has been read, interpreted, thought out, prayed on and discussed, you follow and ACT on your unique God given path to where the spirit moves you and talks to you. Stand strong in your beliefs and faith while opening your mind to views and change. While sometimes painful and uncomfortable, it can only create growth within your mind and heart.
During my past and present journey, I had always learned about early Christianity dating back to ancient times and ancient Egypt within the churches I attended or in my formal education.
My inner voice is unique to my journey as it is unique to my families spiritual journey. Most good hearted folks share a common spiritual goal. I find humor in the biblical “Tower of Babel Story”. I quietly giggle at how the humans built a great tower to themselves and one common language of their own human will to garner power in their kingdom and how Yahweh looked upon the silly humans and broke up their tower and scattered their one language into many languages across the earth. God knew what ancient diversification meant for smug, close minded, power hungry humans of ancient Babylon and the scenario still applies today. One of the ways to embrace empathy, compassion and gratitude as a part of our everyday lives is carrying out the ACTS of a Well rounded heart and mind.
Keep the Faith and stay mentally, physically and spiritually healthy.
Let Your Inner Voice Rise-
Gloria J Harden-Bailey