Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lowest Common Denominator

Dozens Killed As Syrian Forces Storm Restive Cities

Iran Verdict On Detained U.S. Nationals Expected In A Week

The situation in Syria is severe to say the least. As the Arab Spring has unfolded around the middle east and people start standing up for their basic human rights and freedoms against tyrannical regimes, Syria and the Assad "presidency" are cracking down harsher than ever on peaceful protesters. This latest attack on civilians comes just before the muslim holy month of Ramadan, a month of prayer and fasting and submission to god, a month of self-control, of giving to the poor and showing mercy and taking a step back from "worldly activities" to focus on improving yourself. It almost seems as if the Syrian "government" wants to get the harshest crack-downs out of the way before Ramadan, so they can be at peace with what they've done to their people by not committing these heinous acts once Ramadan starts, after the arrival of the new moon. On the other side of the spectrum, we are hearing reports of the Iranians possible release of the last two American hikers held on spying charges. How human of both regimes to use the religious month to accommodate their political maneuvering.

It begs to ask, why can't we be empathetic and generous and self-reflective and charitous throughout the year? Why must one wait until Ramadan starts? Why is charity blessed 700 times more during Ramadan than any other time? Why can't we be on a constant quest of enlightenment, of self-discipline, of empathy, of self-reflection? It seems that setting aside one month for this focus only allows us to get away with less than that the rest of the year. It allows us to justify heinous acts and makes shallow the good deeds done for others if they're done out of necessity for religions' sake than for the sake of just doing a good deed for another human being. Just my take on it. Link below provides some more information on Ramadan. At its core are some very noble tenets and traditions and it seems a very festive time with family and friends. It's actually quite similar to holidays celebrated in the west, like thanksgiving and christmas and hanukkah and yom kippur. This shows that all humans have a sense of these tenets and of tradition and ceremony. These are innate in all of us, not just those who practice one religion or another. We should be mindful of that when we think to attack someone or some group of people who may be different from us. In fact, they are just like us. In almost every way, except faith in one supernatural being over another supernatural being or no faith in a supernatural being at all...

The lowest common denominator of all humans is that we are all here on this earth together.

Ramadan - Wikipedia

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