Does Your Religion Define You? #WATWB

We are the World BlogfestWe are the World Blogfest is here with its fourth edition.

To spread peace and humanity on social media, a few of us have worked together to create the We are the World Blogfest.

The cohosts for the June 2017 WATWB are: Belinda WitzenhausenLynn HallbrooksMichelle Wallace, Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein.

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As a rule, I stay away from religion, but after the recent spate of lynchings in India, Hindus lynching Muslims and Muslims lynching Hindus, I find I need to speak of it.

I’ve done so here, (and the Prime Minister has now condemned the lynchings) but today in the spirit of “In Darkness, Be Light,” I’d like to share human stories of Hindus helping Muslims and Muslims helping Hindus in times of trouble.

All humans, no matter what religion, race, gender, nationality, tribe, caste, ethnicity, share two facts: death and birth.

Here’s a story of a Muslim village helping a Hindu couple with the last rights of their son.

“We had no money for the funeral of our son…whole night we sat and cried beside our dead son thinking what to do,” Biswajit’s mother said.

“In the morning, our Muslim neighbours came forward and carried the body on a bamboo cot to the Manikchak cremation ground which is around 8km from the village,” she said, adding, “They also chanted Hindu mantras – “Bolo Hari Hari bol” on the way to the ground.”

Interestingly, Sheikhpura is a Muslim majority village with just two or three Hindu families.

And here’s another, of Hindu women, helping a Muslim woman with her delivery, at a temple dedicated to the Lord Ganesh.

Religion“We were so worried. My wife was close to delivering the baby and all we could see was a Ganpati Mandir. As soon as we got down outside the temple, some women, who were sitting in the verandah of the mandir, rushed to help us.

We didn’t even have to ask. After that, I was called later to see the face of my baby boy,” said Ilyaz.

The women devotees created a makeshift delivery room with the help of sarees and bedsheets that they brought from their nearby homes. Some old women were at the centre of the circle with Noor Jahan, and within moments, the temple was filled with the cries of a baby boy….The couple went to the hospital after the delivery and the doctors said there were no signs of complications. The happy couple are now going to name the baby Ganesh.

So, in all our darkness, the only-too-often witnessed bigotry of religion, the hope lies in the individual, in each of us looking within. In the acts of compassion that never get noticed or covered in the media, when two communities often at odds stand beside each other at the most significant times: birth and death.

Humans are flawed beings. No one else hates as we do. But then, no one else loves as we do, either.

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If you found these pieces of news heartening and would like to take part in this blogfest, sign up in the WE ARE THE WORLD Blogfest Linky List below and please help spread the word on social media via the hashtag #WATWB.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love and humanity.
  3. Join us in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More We Are the World Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. Add your post HERE so we can all find them very easily.

#WATWB also wants to link to charities supported by the co-hosts, and you could choose to donate to some of them or add links to local charities you support. Here’s the organization I’ve come to love and support: PROJECT WHY— and here’s one of my previous posts on the work they do. Feel free to send them a little of your help– every little bit counts.

What piece of positive news have you read lately– would you like to talk about it in the comments, or make a post of your own? Do you ever discuss your religion, or read about in the news? Have you signed up for We are the World Blogfest? If not, please consider it: it is just a link to a positive post, once a month, and we’re fine with combining it with your regular posts!We Are the World Blogfest

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I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

39 comments

Add Yours
  1. dgkaye

    Thanks for sharing your inspirational story D. It’s definitely a time for the world to come together – race, religion, party is of no importance, love and compassion is needed at the forefront from all. 🙂 x

  2. ksb59

    Religion is called “Dharam” or “Dharmo” in our term; once I learnt from my mother that `the thing which keep you held up together as a entity and as a human being, those values and beliefs and efforts towards perfection of the same’ – is religion. One thing which make us human or give us an identity. Nothing more.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Yes, humans are tribal by nature and instinct– religion provides an identity and a tribe to belong to.

  3. cindamackinnon

    Tells me there are individuals who are evil in the false name of religion and others who rise above organized religion and racism in the name of true spirituality and humanity. Thank you for reminding us of the kindness of strangers – especially heart-warming as it is generally unexpected.

  4. cleemckenzie

    Atrocities have been committed in the name of religion forever. That’s why I don’t subscribe to organized religion. The precepts are honorable, but those who interpret them are often not. If we could all follow the universal dictum “be kind to all” that would create a lot of stories about people helping others.

    Great idea for a hop. It will always be “good” people who make the difference in this world.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I don’t subscribe to organized religion either– kindness is my one religion. Join us in the hop, if you like 🙂

  5. Jemi Fraser

    I teach in a school where kids from all kinds of backgrounds and religions exist. It always makes me happy to see everyone getting along across what could be boundaries.

  6. Fil Campbell

    Wonderful stories Damyanti – they make me so emotional. Religion is such a scourge – here in Northern Ireland it’s in danger of raising it’s head again. But there are so many good people in the world who aren’t given the credit they deserve.

  7. John Maberry

    Truly wonderful showing the genuine compassion that ordinary people have for one another. While radical elements rant and inflict terror on those of other faiths, they are not within the mainstream of those beliefs. The actions of those you cite here illustrate how the overwhelming majority actually exemplify how much the tenets of various faiths share in common.

  8. The Rural Iowegian

    Most religions that I know of preach love and compassion for your brother and sister, no matter what their religious beliefs. Until all religions and sects do the same, peace will not be found. It appears through this writing that at least some have been enlightened enough to know the spirit of religion. For my religion, 1 Peter 3:8-9 of the New Testament of the Holy Bible tells me “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

  9. writingmama

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story, we have heard over the ages terrible stories of people being killed or injured in the name of religion ~ it is great to read something positive and makes us feel there may be a glimmer of hope somewhere in the world..

  10. ccyager

    Religion can be a wonderful thing, but unfortunately, it can also be twisted in ways that are especially dark. I left organized religion many years ago because I found it too exclusive for my taste or life. I don’t want to be defined by something I believe nor do I want to define anyone else in that way. Your stories show that beyond the organized system of beliefs, we are all the same. Thanks for this post! Cinda

  11. pjlazos

    At the end of the day, our compassion far outweighs any animosity toward each other. It’s just a matter of what fire we choose to stoke. #watwb stokes the fires of peace, love and understanding. :0)

  12. ericlahti

    Religion is a curious thing. The same faith can make one person do amazing things in their quest to be closer to their good and another stoop to unheard of depths of cruelty for the exact same good. Here’s to those who seek out the inspirational greatness.

  13. Deborah Weber

    It’s heart-breaking there are so many examples of divisiveness and cruelty in our world, but the stories you’ve shared are wonderful examples of who we can be when we hold loving-kindness and compassion as our guiding principles. Thank for sharing these stories.

  14. simonfalk28

    Damyanti, the inconsistancy and ways in which some people of the great faiths of our world twist and distort some of their values is terrible. This pains me a lot and often. But, in their midst, we hear also of the kindness of these Hindu women. They are an authentic witness of goodness and a treasure, as is your post. Thanks for sharing and for all you do Simon’s Still Stanza #WATWB

  15. vishalbheeroo

    It’s such a beautiful post at a time where there is so much hatred, lynching and mass killing. Religion can be empowering where kindness and compassion make humanity triumph. Powerful initiative Damyanti and you’ve taken steps through this to spread awareness.

  16. hilarymb

    Hi Damyanti – it is wonderful that we do come together in times of ‘strife’ / disaster … this has been shown in Britain recently … Manchester, London – many humans from all walks of life helping and still helping … these two stories are just heart warming to read about – all the very best for them … and yes let’s love our fellow humans, be patient with them and encourage others … cheers Hilary

  17. Healthwealthbridge by Dr.Amrita Basu

    Such wonderful stories .I have heard of the first one .But not the second .The problem is with people and politicians who war monger to fill their pockets .The common people only want peace .
    Race and religioN has become like a festering bed sore because of the threat of radical groups .
    People do strange things when they are scared .
    Let’s hope we can spread more such stories .

  18. Vijayalakshmi Harish

    It truly is heartening to see such positive instances of people helping each other without letting religious beliefs get in the way. It is truly a shame that politicians see religion as a tool to divide and rule!

  19. bikerchick57

    Those are wonderful stories of people helping people regardless of religious affiliation. It’s supposed to be this way – loving your neighbor no matter who they are. Thank you for sharing, Damyanti. I hope their is an end to this conflict between Muslims and Hindus very soon.

  20. Dan Antion

    It’s always discouraging to be reminded of how badly humans can treat each other. Yet it’s encouraging to see how individuals can find compassion first. I worry that we act less and less on our own these days – more of a collective mind. Reading stories like this gives me hope.