Great teachers have appeared throughout human history, and in many traditions − Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Judaism. Their teachings, although given in different times and in different places, have things in common: kindness, gratitude, compassion, forgiveness and love.
We are essentially hairless primates with strong egos and strong tribal instincts which distort these great teachings to create the basis for massive hierarchical organisations where politics, tribalism and appearances become more important than the original teachings. Followers try to make an even greater mystery of these teachers by creating a divine hagiography. Unscrupulous men and women will often use these organisations to their own benefit.
There is no doubt that there exists a great mystery about what all of this means: Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the correct way to lead a good and meaningful life? What happens when I die?
From a cosmic point of view, the tradition to which you ascribe is not as important as making your relationship with god, the universe, the great mystery as personal as possible − something that you live every day in your life as best you can. We can experience great comfort belonging to an organisation but it means little or nothing unless we make our relationship personal and we “walk the talk”.
It all comes down to the following:
- Be present in your life so that you can respond according to your values and not simply run in “autopilot” mode
- Be kind
- Be compassionate
- Be grateful
Above all make kindness your religion. Kindness helps resolve misunderstanding. It creates trust and connects people. Look around at the conflicts in the world, be they political or religious or both. All of these could be resolved or at least greatly improved with kindness.
Let kindness be your religion. It’s good for you and for everybody.