The annual meeting of the European Blue Club was held in Vienna from 20—21 May of this year. Around 12 people from different countries came together to talk about a very delicate and controversial topic. We discussed the different events that have been happening all over Europe. The topic was “Islam.”
At the beginning of the meeting, a presentation was made with the title “How to Deal with Islam.” As Urantia Book readers, we realized that the approach had to be different. It is not about dealing with something that seems to be wrong. It is about how to engage with people who have different beliefs, who have other traditions and ways of thinking that may be very different from what we are used to. It is about respecting the diversity of every person and still engaging in unity.
Some of the people who attended the meeting raised the question about whether it was necessary to discuss the political situation in Europe as it relates, among other things, to the waves of refugees coming from different parts of the planet. Also, how should our leaders act or react in this matter. We soon realized that in our position we have to focus on what we can do as individuals and to ask ourselves what would be the right approach for engaging our Muslim brothers and sisters.
As Jesus said: “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things which are God’s.” [Paper 133:4.3, page 1474.3] It is not for us to judge what is going wrong or not in our countries, and we would be thinking with a very narrow point of view if we thought every Muslim had a bad intention and was trying to attempt an attack somewhere. Sometimes, we react with fear towards things that are out of our control. Fear is something that freezes us in our way to act, in our way to approach people and in our attempt to find positive ways to react to negative things. Ignorance and a lack of interest in knowing how other people think and live, is also a very huge problem that blocks us much of the time. When meeting people with different beliefs or traditions we should try to understand their ways as well as their reactions towards us. If we want to live up to the high values of living, if we want to honor our status as cosmic citizens and sons and daughters of God, we should consider what The Urantia Book and Jesus teach us:
These high levels of human living are attained in the supreme love of God and in the unselfish love of man. If you love your fellow men, you must have discovered their values. Jesus loved men so much because he placed such a high value upon them. You can best discover values in your associates by discovering their motivation. If someone irritates you, causes feelings of resentment, you should sympathetically seek to discern his viewpoint, his reasons for such objectionable conduct. If once you understand your neighbor, you will become tolerant, and this tolerance will grow into friendship and ripen into love. [Paper 100:4.4, page 1098.1]
In my experience as a social educator, working also with Muslim families, I have realized that every human being is connected in some way through nothing more or less amazing than LOVE. At the end, we all look for recognition, acknowledgement, and appreciation for what we do, for what we are, and for what we are achieving in our lives. How do we give to others what we are also yearning for ourselves? How do we learn to be kind, compassionate and eventually loving to others; even those who are difficult to understand or that provoke or hurt us in some way? Sometimes we react from our hurt, not because of what the other person does to us, but because we can relate in a conscious or unconscious way to what that person says or does because of similar experiences we have had in our own lives. We need to be mindful about that. In the magic of the moment we can be aware of our reactions and also be aware of ourselves, as well as being aware of the divine fragment that lives within us; the spirit of truth and our unseen brothers and sisters assisting us whenever we ask them to do so. If we cannot do it ourselves, with God “everything is possible.” Don’t forget these words:
You cannot truly love your fellows by a mere act of the will. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor’s motives and sentiments. It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being. If each day or each week you achieve an understanding of one more of your fellows, and if this is the limit of your ability, then you are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing your personality. Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious. If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man. [Paper 100:4.6, page 1098.3]
We are challenged by this in our lives and it’s not easy because we all have issues to work on our pre-conceptions from past experiences. Sometimes our human part tends to judge and stick to the negative; it’s what we’re used to and how we tend to react at first sight. But sometimes we need to open our hearts and minds and perceive the truth, beauty and goodness that surrounds us.
I have learned that “comm-union” with our Father is a very important step. When we achieve this connection we will learn to be tolerant, compassionate and understanding; we can grow up in the experience of realizing that. In this way, we are responding to this beautiful mandate: Be you perfect, even as I am perfect. [Paper 1:0.3, page 21.3]
We carry the responsibility to know that this is possible. The next step is to put it into practice.