Letter: If only we could learn to accept and respect everyone for who and what they are

Editor,

I feel very, very fortunate to have been born in British Columbia and to have lived here for my entire 67 years of life. Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I was an immigrant, especially within the last 10 years. Would I feel accepted and safe in my community? Or would I feel rejected and be afraid?

Certainly after the recent horrific mass murder in New Zealand, I would feel afraid. Although I wish no harm to anyone, I work hard to raise my family to the best of my abilities, I practise my beliefs with no effect on anyone else, and I try to be a good citizen, I would feel afraid.

A movement started in the 1960s that spread a message of love and peace. The Biblical words “Love Thy Neighbour” come to mind. But the message being sent was non-sectarian and was intended for every world citizen, regardless of their ethnicity or beliefs. The message was simple but very powerful. By loving people, we would accept them, and, inevitably, world peace would be a reality.

Many people of the day hindered their ability to accept the message because they were obsessed by the physical appearance of the messengers. Why do many of us judge people based on their appearance and/or their beliefs? Why do we put ourselves on a pedestal and put those who look different than us or have different beliefs than ours on a lower level? Why do we think we are better than them?

I do not practise any branded religion. I believe that there is no Higher Being that will come down to Earth and save us all. I believe that it is up to each of us to save ourselves. If we could learn to accept and respect everyone for who and what they are, and extend our love to many, many more people, the world would be a much better place to live in, and we would be on our way to saving ourselves.

Russ Watson

Quesnel

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