Remember, We All Want to be Happy
I don’t normally do politically oriented posts on this blog and this will likely be a one time thing, there is more than enough political turmoil on social media to occupy all of our time and give us plenty of anxiety. When I think of politics and political discussions I start thinking of happiness. However, there is a lot of political strife and division in my country right now. It unfortunately seems to be bringing out both the best and the worst in my fellow Americans.
I had an interaction on Facebook the other day. I saw a post from someone who referred to all Iranians as Neanderthals, I objected to this comment. Someone else then piled on explaining it applied to all Muslims, not just Iranians. Likely, neither of these individuals had ever been to Iran or any Muslim country. I wonder how many, or if, they have Muslim friends or even know any Muslims. It is unfortunate our President and others with a large media reach, Bill Maher for example, keep spreading propaganda related to Muslims and Islam. It’s sad really, and utterly divisive, it gives tacit permission to bigots to spew their hate.
One of the things I advocate for a lot on this site is travel. Generally, it is for the purpose of making you happier by broadening your experience, stretching you and getting you out of your normal life in the default world. There is a secondary benefit, one that I don’t talk about as much, a detail really to the idea of broadening your experience.
When you travel, particularly to other countries/cultures you get to see the world from a different perspective. You get to see your home country through other people’s eyes. You see that people in other places have the same day-to-day concerns that you and I do. You see that parents love their children everywhere, that the sounds of kids playing and laughing is universal. You learn that a smile is a smile in every language.
My hope is that Muslims in the United States and overseas see the outpouring of support Americans are showing at airport protests around the country. Our governments may be bad actors, but people are people. We all love our families, we all work to keep food on the table, we all wish we had more say and control over what our government does. Most Americans understand that Islam is not our enemy, that every religion and every country has bad actors who make their countries and religions look violent and unloving.
My hope for the people in my country is that no matter how anxious we get, no matter how divisive our politics, we remember that deep down we are all brothers and sisters. All human beings with the same wants, needs and desires. Please remember my friends no matter your politics, religion or nationality, we all want to be happy, so let’s treat each other with kindness, compassion and express gratitude for the good in this world. Then we can all have happier days. ~ Rev Kane