Now look folks, it's way past time to stop using our primitive, caveman minds to order our relations with others. The old way of doing things, the primitive approach to social dynamics, that we seem unable to shake, is to assume that everyone outside our own little group (our brains are happiest with groups of under 150 people that we communicate with directly ... this doesn't include copious Facebook "friends" or others in social media land) is the "other" and the "other" is alien, never to be trusted, and perhaps downright stupid for not believing as the members of our own little band believe. This is the twenty-first century. Don't you thinks it's a little past time we put this primitive way of thinking to bed once and for all and try (struggle, grapple with, and force our stubborn minds if need be) to see people who believe differently from ourselves as competent human beings from whom we might actually learn something?!
Let me paint us all a picture. If we don't, then every time we dismiss someone or some other group and label them in some way inferior, they WILL return the favor and treat us in kind. I don't think that's what we really want, is it? I can't imagine we really want to spend the rest of time on the primitive mind merry-go-round of suspicion, distrust, and denigration of all the BILLIONS of people outside of our tidy little 150 member group, can you? (As it says in MY belief system,
Now in my belief system, as a Christian, Protestant, American Baptist, the Bible (foundation upon which belief is informed and built) states in at least 70+ examples that we should be humble with each other and before God. We should show humility. Try Matthew 18:4: Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven
The early Christian monastics felt that other people were a sign of God's grace (i.e., God's love for us) in our lives. These monastics felt particularly strong signs of God's grace were people who actually didn't believe as the monks themselves believed. Why, you might ask. The reason was because these folks were people they felt God had sent their way so they could learn something NEW from them. And we think we have all the answers today. Pfft. These guys way back when had a much healthier view of those people outside of their own little tribes (monasteries) than we do today.
So, what say you? Willing to give those people outside of your own little belief system (whatever that might be) the benefit of the doubt? I hope so. If we all do that ... well, we all just might learn something.
For a challenging article on a scale of human spirituality that might give us all a dose of the humbles, see: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2013/08/challenging-stages-of-spirituality-by-m.html