This Memorial in Israel Shook Me To The Core
As I was walking around Tel Aviv, I came across a number of memorials at the locations of terror attacks, senseless violence which ended the lives of innocent people — the result of misguided ideology.
This particular memorial hit me hardest because it was in front of a popular nightclub on the beach. Young people, who only wanted to go out for the evening and party, killed by terrorists trying to make a statement.
We hear about this type of thing on the news all the time, but don’t really think too much about it. “Just more violence in the Middle East. When will all this hatred just stop?”
For the rest of the day, a number of separate thoughts came together, as if they were always meant to. I thought about the place I was at and the places I’ve travelled over the past decade. I thought about all the different people I met, the people I’ve celebrated with, the cultures I’ve experienced, and the friends I’ve made — and suddenly I realized those were the most important things I’ve ever done.
Everybody I’ve ever met, all the people who were so different from me, I’ve always offered them love and respect, and that love and respect was reciprocated. It didn’t matter that they came from different cultures or had different beliefs, in fact I respected them because of that.
Beliefs and religion are there to guide people. They offer rules and guidance for living. And this, I believe, is good. But when people get so wrapped up in their beliefs, to the point where they feel anyone who doesn’t share their own beliefs is the enemy, our beliefs no longer serve us. We end up serving our beliefs.
Worse, we entirely miss the point of those beliefs. And when we wage wars in the name of religion, we betray everything those beliefs stand for.
We can’t point the finger at others without taking responsibility for doing the exact same thing. Killing them because they want to kill us doesn’t solve the problem. It just breeds more hatred and violence.
In everything I’ve experienced in my life, I have yet to find anything worth dying for, or killing somebody for. There’s just too much…