A nine year old girl visited our home, the other day alongwith her mother. When we went to another room to play, as our parents talked to each other, an innocent question of hers surprised me. “Do you like the believers of *this* religion?”, she asked me. “Of course I do, just as much as I like anyone else.”, I answered as I gathered my wits. How did such a young girl like herself ever come to so religion-specific a question? “Does your mother like them? My mother doesn’t.”, she continued to say.
I was spending some days at a family friend’s house during my vacations. I noted how almost every discussion would revolve around some or the other problem in society. I experienced a new level of disbelief at how each of these problems was linked to a religion that was not their own. Dirty roads? They’re to blame. The country is corrupt? Don’t give them the right to vote. Flush not working? Of course, it’s them.
The recent gruesome attacks in Paris followed by ruthless attacks in Mali and numerous other attacks on Syrian soil and other places in the world have only served to reinforce the sentiment of hostility towards another’s religion that has long existed in many, many, many parts of the world. That Terrorism has no religion, is a fact that is clear to a rational mind. But, where does this animosity towards another’s faith/religion stem from?
When a child walks out of a toy shop and unknowingly picks up a little toy that his parents have not bought him, why do his parents take so much trouble to reassert to him that what he did was wrong? Even unknowingly? When the same child uses an unkind word, however insignificant or harmless, why does his mother get infuriated and ensure he remembers not to make use of it again? When so much care is taken to build good habits so as not to allow them to blow up and out of proportion into something disastrous, why aren’t the same measures taken when it comes to talking ill of another’s religion?
When I come to think of it, I picked up my over-sleeping habit the same way. By giving myself the short, innocent, extra “two minutes” of sleep. This is how most alcoholics and drug-addicts get into their condition: by starting with “a little”. Don’t we all agree that every little deed of ours goes to form a habit, and most of these habits define our very being?
“Capacity is of two kinds, natural capacity and acquired capacity..how much the natural capacity and constitution can be changed, until by different habits and training they become entirely perverted.”
Perhaps, the terrorists that are responsible for these cruel, merciless attacks on innocent civilians started off with meaningless small talk about how believers of other religions are mystically(and not to forget, illogically!) responsible for all the wrong in the world? Maybe, they proceeded to jokingly say they should do something about all those responsible for the wrongs in the world? And, maybe that led to the inhumane acts they perform invoking the holy Name of God today.
“Lo! God loveth not aggressors.”
The next time a problem is encountered, think again to see what/who is at it’s root. Is it a habit? Is it you?