March 20


Today's Quotation:

I believe that in our constant search for security we can never gain any peace of mind until we secure our own soul. And this I do believe above all, especially in my times of greatest discouragement, that I must believe--that I must believe in my fellow people-- that I must believe in myself--that I must believe in God--if life is to have any meaning.

Margaret Chase Smith

Today's Meditation:

It's a shame that so many people have attached so much dogma and so many conditions to believing in God.  We've turned one of the most important aspects of our lives into some sort of competition--you're not a true Christian unless you believe this; you're not a good Moslem unless you adopt this set of beliefs; a good Jew always will believe this.

But what of our own relationships with ourselves and with God?  What of our own ability to believe in who we are and who God is?  Is it any wonder that we find it hard to believe in ourselves when we're told so often that our most basic beliefs are wrong or misguided?  How can it help us to adopt other people's beliefs just because other people believe those things?

For centuries, Christians believed that it was right to kill a person who committed blasphemy.  Some cultures still do believe that.  But for the most part, that belief has changed significantly.  What once was considered a holy duty before God is now a crime in almost all countries of the world.  But how many people adopted that belief in former times simply because other people told them it was true?

If we insist on adopting other people's beliefs, we will find that we are unable to get to know ourselves, and that we are unable to believe fully and deeply.  Our first duty is to ourselves, for the person who has come to know him or her self can then reach out and help others effectively.

Questions to ponder:

1.  Do you believe in yourself?  How do your actions reflect that belief?

2.  Do you believe in God, no matter what you conceive Him (or Her, or It) to be?  How do your actions reflect that belief?

3.  How many of your beliefs come from other people, and their insistence that you must believe certain things in certain ways?

For further thought:

Grant us a common faith that we shall know bread and peace--that we shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, an equal opportunity and an equal chance to do our best not only in our own lands, but throughout the world. And in that faith let us march toward the clean world our hands can make.

Stephen Vincent Benet

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