Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and
again? What is it, and why does it move you?
"Why in the world are we here, surely not to live in pain and fear". From Instant Karma by John Lennon.
We are here in this world. Regardless of whether or not we believe it is because some god placed us here, or the chain of natural events is irrelevant. We have to learn to get along and work and live together in order for us all to succeed. The idea that some of us are better than others is a purely human invention, whether influenced by religion or greed or any other factor is something that we must overcome.
If there is a god, why would he place people here so they will be miserable? If there is no god, then that means we are responsible for each other. I see no other options to this dilemma. A religious person can claim whatever they like, but they are unable to address the suffering and inequality of this world without handing all the responsibility over to their god and proclaiming that it must be his/her will, and then walking away from the problem.
An Atheist would argue that since there is no god, that the responsibility for everyone is with all of us. The Atheist can then claim that the problems are just too vast to be dealt with, and move on. The actions are the same.
Every person has their joys and sorrows. Every person has their highs and lows. Every person suffers from greed and avarice. But every person also wants to make a better life for themselves and their families. Injustice is something that we all suffer from to some degree, although some suffer much more than others.
I believe that we are here to help one another. Eliminating all the injustice, fear, and oppression in the world will not be an easy task, but it is one that we cannot turn away from. This task obviously cannot be solved through religion, unless that religion is imposed on everyone, and that destroys our individuality. We need to work together on this.
The fact that there are so many people living in pain and fear should shame us all into action. To see anyone and claim that they somehow deserve the pain and fear is simply horrible. Our first response should be to help those people and not to criticize them. Instead, we use the ability to blame those people for their position and then walk away from them.
Acting like this flies in the face of the religions that some cling to. Acting like this diminishes everyone who claims to want a better world. Acting like this perpetuates the problems that we have and makes them ever more difficult to resolve. I was taught as a small child that ignoring a problem today will make it worse tomorrow. We cannot keep waiting. We need to change our outlook now.
This is the quote that I carry with me at all times. This is the quote that give me hope. This is the quote that keeps me asking the question about who we are.