Home > Life Lessons, Personal & Spiritual Development > Doing Away With Bigotry in Order to Be Open Minded and Loving

Doing Away With Bigotry in Order to Be Open Minded and Loving


“It is good for children to learn to love their country, their religion, their culture, and so on. But the danger comes when this develops into narrow-minded nationalism, ethnocentricity, and religious bigotry”.

 

-H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama

As a parent it sometimes overwhelming to realize just how much you help shape your child. The things that you teach your child, whether positive or negative, will stay with them for the rest of their lives. As reflected in the above quote from the Dalai Lama, it is important to teach children how to be a loving and open minded person, whether it is your own child, grandchild, family member, or even children who you have the opportunity to interact with. It is also important for you to sift through the mental garbage that you may have accumulated during your journey through life, so that you can be a more loving and open minded person.

Everyday, the world becomes more and more unified, yet bigotry in its myriad of forms remains. Thankfully, for the most part, bigotry has become a social faux pas, so bigotry goes largely unvocalized; however, bigotry can still remain in our thoughts. When you look at another person and you have a negative thought about them, whether it is because of their race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or even social class, that is bigotry. Bigotry acts as a blockage that prevents you from truly getting to know another person, because you have already formed an opinion of that person without ever attempting to truly understand them.

Bigotry also acts as a blockage for personal development, because you are carrying around these negative thoughts with you, which are just waiting for a chance to manifest. Bigotry easily allows negative thoughts to enter into your mind, which prevents you from truly living in the now, and experiencing the joy of life that is present in every moment.

It seems to be human nature to create an “Us vs. Them” mentality, where you are driven to feel that your group is somehow superior to another group. This can even be seen in religion, where one religion, sect, or group feels that they are somehow superior to all others, and it is they alone who posses the true key to get into heaven, or receive a positive afterlife. By examining your thoughts, and working towards erasing bigotry from your thoughts, you will begin to realize that every human being is experiencing the mystery that we call life. Every person alive was born, experiences suffering, experiences joy, loves someone else, and will one day die just like us; therefore, we are not as different as our ego would like us to believe.  No person is superior to another person, because we were all created by God. We should all strive to truly love one another in the way that the creator intended.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” – Mark 12:31

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another”. – John 13:34

Practical Tip: The key to overcoming bigotry is to simply examine your thoughts. During the day if you come across another person, and bigotry rears its ugly head, ask yourself why that thought entered your mind, why do you feel that way? Try thinking a positive thought about that person, show that person love, and attempt to get to know them as a human being, just as you are. You may be surprised at how many prejudices you currently hold, which are completely baseless, but enter your mind as merely habit.

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Also, please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)

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