Can you really know what you believe if you don’t understand why you believe it?
Can you define a person simply by their declarations of belief? A hundred different people can claim the same beliefs for a hundred different reasons. Motivation for belief is key to understanding what drives a person, what defines them. Do you know why you believe? Do you know if you really agree with the people who claim to share your beliefs?
I take a deep interest in understanding what motivates people. I choose to pursue a hope of bringing people together, building community through unity and equality.
The deep division and hate we spread across social media and through our own communities has taken on new life lately. My hope is that with small steps in the right direction we can finally begin to come together, bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. Now, how did you respond to my evoking Judeo-Christian imagery? Are you more, or less interested in hearing what I have to say?
When seeking to understand differing viewpoints it is less important to be able to separate fact from fiction than it is to be able to separate information from interpretation.
By evoking imagery from my faith and declaring that I am a heterosexual Christian male I have provided you with some information about me. How that makes you feel about me represents your interpretation of that information.
We instinctively interpret information as we navigate through life, the more important question comes next. What do you want to believe?
What you want to believe is often more important than the information available to you.
Think about it.
What information excites you most, gets you fired up, drives your passion?
How do you define who you are? Are you more interested in personal growth, or are your beliefs and opinions locked in stone? How soft is your heart? How deep are your wounds?
I have realized more lately that in order to come together in true unity we must begin the work of putting aside our hurt, looking past our bias, and listening. We are all broken, desire compassion, understanding, and belonging.
I would like to invite you on a journey with me. I am seeking to explore what drives humanity, what defines us. Follow me on LinkedIn and watch out for future "The Art of Compassion" blog series publications.
I will now begin here, with some simple declarations: I believe the most important value for humanity is compassion.
It is with a lens of compassion that I seek to interpret information, defining the why of my belief.
If we can do the work to change the way we see the world; utilizing compassion as the lens we filter information through, then there may yet be hope for humanity.
To clarify, I believe compassion to be more than a simple notion of love. When I use the term compassion, I will never be referring to an emotion. Compassion is a choice to suffer; a choice to recognize the suffering of others.
When compassion becomes your filter for belief:
forgiveness becomes easier
honesty becomes more important
self-care becomes vitally important
positivity becomes fuel
equality, through mutual healing, becomes the goal
self-sacrifice becomes a tool for healing
Each of these elements deserve deeper exploration. I believe there are tools here, yet to be discovered, that may unlock the secrets of Heaven on Earth. My heart as a Christian is that we would take an honest look at the heart of God and remember his instruction in the Lord’s prayer:
“Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” - Mathew 6:10.
By exploring the reality of compassion and pursuing the reality of Heaven on Earth we might be able to see a new light burn through the heart of humanity’s future.