I just read a great essay by Jonathan Sacks regarding how to defeat religious violence. It is a great essay.

The essay discusses the role religion plays in wars and conflict, why religion should not play a role, and what would need to happen for it to stop. Moreover, it also touches on how advances in technology, the free market, and the democratic state enable us to make great achievements, but they do not help answer the 3 basic questions of a reflective individual:

1. Who am I?
2. Why am I here?
3. How then shall I live?

Can you answer these three questions? I am almost 40 years old, and I think I could answer two of the questions, but the second one has me most stumped and always has. I have always believed every individual has a specific role in his or her life. I believe that until that role is realized/fulfilled we have more protection than after our role is completed. I have had several instances in my life that could have ended my life early. The most noticeable was when I was 19, I fell 18 feet off of a ladder, and landed on my head and neck first on a commercial concrete floor. The accident should have killed me, or at least given me injuries that would have dramatically altered how I could live. Instead I recovered fairly quickly with limited problems, and I live a normal life. I figured my purpose had yet to be fulfilled and so I was spared/protected. As much as I want to know my purpose, it is because of my belief/theory, that I have never been in a real hurry to find out. Fear plays a funny role in my life I guess.

I do not like the hatred and violence social media helps to spread, and it has made me resent social media far more than I appreciate it. The political BS is exhausting and provides no benefit to my life, but blocking it all has been impossible. It is tough to find posts about love, peace and community when it is often buried by the negativity that seems to take precedence in what people choose to share. The only role any of us can play to change social media’s purpose is to share what we would like to read, or what we would appreciate someone saying about us.

The essay is fascinating and that is why I am posting a link here . Jonathan Sacks offered clear writing about religion without the “I’m right and you are wrong” mentality that too often litters the teachings of faith, and allows wars to be fought in the name of it. Even if some disagree with his interpretations of religions – the overall picture is tough to deny. It was originally posted in the Wall Street Journal, but I am not a paid subscriber so I couldn’t read it. Luckily, after some digging, I found where is was posted without needing a subscription.