Your Story

OPINION: Help to heal our world: conquer fanaticism

COMMENT: WHAT I most love about my country is our general lack of fanaticism - a startling contrast to recent high-profile instances of it here and elsewhere.

I started thinking about this subject before the terrorism events in Paris, but those events have made dealing with fanatical thinking seem even more imperative.

A fanatic expresses excessive, irrational zeal.

Far from taking an intelligent and well-informed stance on an issue, their passion and manic obsession with a cause or way of doing things colour their decision-making ability negatively.

Fanaticism about a political or religious philosophy that makes us feel superior; holding obsessively to a non-proven hypothesis; belief that there is only one way to play football and there's a single worthy team; prejudice about what foods we should eat and the best way to cultivate them; or uncompromising belief that we only need to attend to the physical body to be healthy, are all too common habits that lead us down a slippery slope of intolerance.

Fanatical beliefs are nearly always built on fear.

A red flag should go up if we find ourselves extremely sensitive about our viewpoint or hating anyone who opposes it.

Alternatively, common sense based on a positive stance, sure of a solution becoming apparent that will be good for everyone, is a better viewpoint.

This demeanour is not just a good-old Aussie "she'll be right" attitude, but grows out of a well-informed and caring approach to the world.

This is a spiritual approach that begins with ourselves - that is, feeling and accepting the love that comes from our divine source. It's so much easier to love, when we're feeling loved.

What will help the world through this current fermentation is our individual commitment to choosing love and understanding over hate and apathy.

I find it's useful to ask myself: could I be a little more thoughtful and kinder with my comments? I'd have to confess that the answer is usually, "well, maybe."

Try this scenario. If you could go back in time, would you choose to continually belittle our ancestors' beliefs about a flat earth?

Wouldn't you instead gently nurture and point out bridges of understanding to help them comprehend the reality?

American Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, president of the Minaret of Freedom Institute was interviewed about possible motives for the killings at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Married to a Christian, Mr Ahmad holds a unique perspective on cross-cultural understanding (or misunderstandings) between Muslims and non-Muslims.

He pointed out, "…it is one thing to make a joke about a rich man or a powerful man who slips and falls. It is something entirely different and not funny to make a joke about your poor old grandmother slipping and falling.

"To the Muslim people, jokes and cartoons about the faith of an oppressed people are not funny. They hurt."

We all know how humiliation hurts, and most of us at some time have been down the road of wanting to lash out at a perceived enemy.

So, if we can empathise, we can forgive and work towards healing our world.

Academics and experienced change-managers in the field of terrorism psychology are stepping forward this week to share with the world some common patterns for success in de-radicalising regimes and terrorists.

(http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0525/Are-terrorists-beyond-redemption)

Surprisingly, these don't include retribution but active, solution-based change-management, such as recognising the needs of jihadists; finding them vocational education, jobs and even wives; and, recognizing the importance of their social network (http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/11/05/the-3-step-guide-to-de-radicalizing-jihadists/)

Whether or not you have a direct hand in these compassionate measures, you can begin to make a difference in the health of our wonderfully promising world by de-radicalising your own thinking.

Utilise this good advice to start the healing movement within your own circle:

• "Hate no one; for hatred is a plague-spot that spreads its virus and kills at last…
• If you have been badly wronged, forgive and forget…
• Never return evil for evil;
• and, above all, do not fancy that you have been wronged when you have not been."

(Mary Baker Eddy)

None of us have all the answers to the world's problems right now, but today you can at least be a law to yourself to give up any fanatical beliefs you may be harbouring. This self-regulating action is also good for your stress levels, heart, immune system and much more.

Kay Stroud is a regular contributor on the link between consciousness, spirituality and health. For more information on these trends or answers to questions about Christian Science visit www.health4thinkers.com

Topics:  aussies, compassion, fanatics, fear, hate, health, jihadists, muslims, public humiliation, radical, terrorism



PHOTOS: Teen attacked by shark on Ballina beach

Multiple people attended the scene at Lighthouse Beach where a shark attack took place around 9:30 on Monday morning. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Photos from the scene of the attack

'Bungled' shark management plan failed the community: Labor

Plans for shark barriers on the North Coast have been abandoned.

"Surfers are still being put at risk because of government inaction"

Encounters on stage at Lennox Head

COMING SOON: Dancers Elizabeth Venn and Tess Eckert are part of Encounters, the upcoming performance by SPRUNG!! Integrated Dance Theatre Inc.

By Sprung!! Dance Theatre Inc

Local Partners

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Encounters on stage at Lennox Head

COMING SOON: Dancers Elizabeth Venn and Tess Eckert are part of Encounters, the upcoming performance by SPRUNG!! Integrated Dance Theatre Inc.

By Sprung!! Dance Theatre Inc

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Jaime King 'terrified' by son's heart surgery

Jamie King was "terrified" when her son went in for heart surgery.

John Mayer's advice for Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes has revealed John Mayer gave him advice

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction