Dear God,

Please help us to stop killing one another.

Lives matter. It really doesn’t matter whether it is black lives, Hispanic lives, gay lives, police lives; lives matter.

We enter this world with one life and when that life reaches its conclusion your time has ended. So here we find ourselves in a world where hatred and bigotry lead people to take lives because we don’t understand the other person’s life style or background or ethnicity.

We have recently seen several black men killed by police officers and last week we witnessed an event in Dallas where five police officers were killed by a black man. How has the American populace allowed this to occur? We are distrustful of one another. We are uncomfortable with others lifestyles or the way they dress or the way they act in public. Why should a young man with a hoodie create anxiety in other people? How have we allowed this to happen?

One of the basic tenets of Buddhism is that all life is precious. In the Buddhist tradition, a person should avoid, if at all possible, taking the life of a living creature. That would include the rattlesnake that killed my cat last month because life is that precious. In Buddhism, there is the concept of karma. Whatever you do will come back in kind.

If you send out evil, it will return on you. If you send out love, it will be returned. In a way people get what they deserve, but I don’t have to take matters into my hands. However, when a society slides into a situation where distrust, hatred, and bigotry reign free it seemingly becomes easier to take a life.

Country music singer/songwriter Ray Stevens wrote a song entitled, “Everything is Beautiful”. There is a verse that states, “We shouldn’t care about the length of his hair or the color of his skin. Don’t worry about what shows from without but the love that lives within. We’re gonna get it all together now, everything will work out fine. Just take a little time to look on the good side my friend, and straighten it out in your mind.” Try to focus on the good in others, not on your fear of others.

We as a society need to become more aware that our behavior can be determined by attitudes and beliefs that are not always available to our consciousness. We are swayed by voices on both the left and right playing on these attitudes and beliefs and this can result in us acting in ways that are contrary to lives matter. We must remember that during World War Two, our country imprisoned Americans of Japanese descent because of fears created by war time.

All lives matter.

“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

It seems that if the creator can love everyone in spite of differences among us, we should be more respectful of others and our differences. Don’t let bias, bigotry, and hatred determine your behavior. All lives matter.

Amen.

Bob Newby is an educator and Erath County resident. He is a member of the E-T's community columnists and can be reached at newby@lipan.net.