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Friday, January 25, 2008
Reflections on Holocaust
Mike Ghouse, January 15, 2008
The United Nations has designated January 27th as the Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day, in behalf of the Foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim Congress, I request us to reflect upon the human sufferings inflicted by humans through out the world.
We may start out by scribbling a title for each one of the small and large injustice we have witnessed or learned through news. What did we do with that information and how did we feel about ourselves? The conflicts emanating from injustices are rife in Congo, Darfur, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Pakistan and other places. Please take a moment to reflect upon the viciousness of the humans, the vulgarity of the few that has engulfed the innocent bystanders. We have to work towards the idea of “saving a life is like saving the whole humanity,” says God in Torah and Qur’aan. You and I exist because someone believed in it before us.
Six Million Jews were brutally murdered simply because of their faith. Imagine if we were in that situation, ruthlessly packed in a rail car along with 100 other humans to be thrown in gas chambers. The helplessness and the humiliation should have been palpable, but the world stood by silently finding bliss in self designed ignorance. If it happens to us we feel like tearing the world apart.
The world reacted belatedly, thank God; the evil plan of the Nazis did not materialize. We said, never again and we keep falling short on our own promise. It is time to reflect if our hearts can feel the pain and if our minds can do something about it. We should visit the holocaust museum in our area; it will upload humanity into us, it is good to be a human again and again.
Our hearts and minds are endowed with a sense of justice, and whenever we see that balance disturbed, we react to it with anger, helplessness and distress. Religion and common sense have taught us to regain that balance by taking an action, least of which is to speak up. Our minds work mysteriously, the act of seeking balance and justice relieves us from the anguish and gives us a sense purpose in life that we stand for something.
If my actions and words aggravate a conflict, then I have become a contributor toward chaos, on the other hand if my words and actions mitigate the conflict, I become a peace maker. Peace has got to be unconditional without any score keeping, “do your duty without the greed of results”, says the Bhagvad Gita.
No one is an island; we have to develop an open mind and an open heart towards each other in the process of healing and repairing the world. We should short change our humanness by thinking that we were not responsible for it.
We should honor our divine instructions to demur and honor the suffering of others. It will be a day for all of us to reflect upon and promise ourselves "never again" and hope each one of us makes a commitment to oneself to speak out against any injustice.
If we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. The healing and recovery for Humanity can only occur when we each examine our own hearts, our own cultures and our own faith traditions to discern where seeds of prejudice, cruelty and even genocide remain hidden.
A Good deed is creating peace, security and balance for all creation. The wisdom of Bible is crystal clear “do unto others as you would want others to do to you”. Indeed, that is essence of all religions.
This is an invitation to people of all backgrounds to reflect upon the tragedies humans have endured, and bring about a change, however little we can. The least we can do is to speak up whenever we see injustice or words and actions that promote chaos.
In 2006, the United Nations proclaimed January 27th as a Holocaust remembrance day to commemorate the worst atrocity the world had ever witnessed. In support of that, the Foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim Congress organized an event on Thursday, January 26, 2006 to accommodate the Jewish Sabbath as January 27 fell on a Friday in 2006. For more information please visit:
I request you to pray and mourn for the massacres and deaths of all human beings. I beg you to forgive me if I have missed a tragedy that you are familiar with. I admire you if you could send me a 100 word description or a link from a news paper to be included in the comments.
If you felt sorrow for some and not for the others, please check out your peace meter for your bias and prejudices against groups, nations, ethnicities, religions, cultures or races. Higher the prejudice lesser the peace and vice versa.
You can increase your peace and happiness by repenting in your solitude for your biases and see the meter start rising, and when you actually do not feel any bias toward any human, see the mercury miracles. Finally if you can volunteer one hour a week for people you don't know or you did not like in the past, you can be the happiest person on the earth. God guarantees that and I will underwrite it. Ha! Try it, it is effortless and won't cost you a dime but gain you happiness.
May God help us become prejudice free,
May God give us the guts to speak up when we see wrongs,
May God remove arrogance from us and
May God bless us with the humanness to feel the pain and sorrow of others.
Please pray (wish it, if you are an atheist) and invoke the goodness in each one of us.
Pictures from top to bottom: Bosnia, Congo, Darfur, Gaza, Gujarat, Haditha, Kashmiri Pandits, Rafah, Rwanda, Sri Lanka ... Katrina, Tsunami, earthquakes, 9/11 and many other tragedies...
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Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, politics, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, India and civic issues. His comments, news analysis, opinions and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website www.MikeGhouse.net. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com or (214) 325-1916
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Our Mission is to encourage individuals to develop an open mind and an open heart toward their follow beings. If we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. We believe that knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of a different point of view.
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