I ran into an article this morning on Live Science that defines spirituality as feelings of purpose and value and have quality and depth in inter-personal relationships. Researchers have found that those that are spiritual are happy, and they also found that practicing a religion has no impact on the sense of happiness at all.
No, I'm not knocking religions. What I am pointing out is in support of what I said in The World is Ending, namely that there is a difference between feeling something is true or just saying it's true because everyone else does. That's why I think it's important to examine the rhetoric to see if it fits with what you feel.
Carl Jung would call this the difference between an introvert and an extrovert. In very general terms, an introvert looks inside to evaluate any given situation when an extrovert would look to others for clues on how they have evaluated it and then going with the popular. Like with just about everything else in the realm of mental health, it's the extremes that cause problems, so finding the right balance becomes the task at hand. (The great thing about Carl Jung is that he formed his theories after studying many varied cultures around the world.)
I got to thinking about all this again after reading that, though there are far more Muslims in the world, because they are generally uneducated, they have made few contributions and advancements, thus lost power in the world. I found this in-depth discussion on Windmill on the Hill., and I highly recommend that you read it. It frightens me to my core because here is a whole people that have no choice but to live as extroverts!
Which brings me to this thing with Gaza and Israel. All I can think of is to say, "Hey people, they are on a very different path than we are!" We can't understand or relate to that conflict, whatever it is, because we are free to dig in and decide for ourselves! We can educate ourselves, we can learn, we can evaluate based on our own past experiences, and because of all of that, we can use our conscience, our values, our morals, our sense of right and wrong.
It is no surprise that some react violently to the inhumanity of Israel's might in attacking Gaza. You have to wonder why Gaza would be so idiotic as to keep lobbing rockets, little, itty-bitty rockets at such a huge and powerful country. Does their fight become any more justifiable when it is so impossible to win? So, people around the world rise up in defense of the loser, the lost puppy, the weak. That is the way we are. We are a humane, giving and compassionate people who freely stand up for what we feel is right.
But, this humanitarian crusade is causing a deeper, even more devastating rift. Protests against Israel are happening everywhere, and they are violent already. It is the volatile beginning of social unrest, the one thing that could set off a chain of violence and death of many more than the people living in Gaza. The conditions are ripe for people to begin pulling out whatever weapon is handy and killing neighbors and strangers alike with this extremely stressful worldwide economic crisis.
Use your anger, indignation, compassion, frustration and fear as a signal to take action; not by raising your fist, but by educating yourself, problem solving and networking with others who wish to be active instead of reactive. Examine the rhetoric, evaluate the statements, tap into your spirituality, then go from there well prepared to make the world a better place.
Remember: Active instead of reactive, not kill or be killed.
Perhaps then my German Shepherd and I can relax our vigil a little.