Living one’s life as an example

Mother and Child. Edith E. Post 1987. Collection of Henry Lewis 🙂

Hatred is poison.

How inherently confusing the world must be for children growing up today. They are constantly bombarded by contradictory messages on social media while their parents frantically run around in circles trying to provide the material things dictated by American culture. What’s often missing is clear moral guidance, especially from the current leadership in Washington, D. C.

Although the TV was ever present in my childhood, the loudest voices were those of my parents and grandparents. And, I count myself incredibly lucky to have had them as my primary examples of how to live one’s life.

While family, of course, was important, there was always room for others at the table too. They lived lives of egalitarianism and taught my sisters and I that no one should ever be excluded. My parents and grandparents were what I believe to be true Christians who lived by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” as it’s stated in the King James version of the Bible, or simply “treat others as you would like to be treated.”

It seems that many contemporary Christians (especially Evangelicals) now see those words as a sign of weakness and choose to worship a God of vengeance rather than one of love. Their God is also exclusive, as he (always male) favors people of certain races (predominantly white) over all others.

My role models, who were quite competent Bible scholars, would have vehemently disagreed with such exclusions. In fact, wasn’t the goal of evangelism to spread the gospel to people of every creed and color so they too could share in the so-called ‘Good News’ of Jesus’ salvation for all humanity?

Growing up in the rural American south, I also realized at a young age that not all parents were the same. There was (and still is) prejudice and bigotry based on race, as well as some degree of bias based on one’s socio-economic situation. As imperfect humans, we all have harbored prejudice at times, but acknowledging human frailties can never be used as an excuse for spreading hatred.

While my guiding principles now incorporate Buddhist teachings as as well as those from other religious traditions, the foundation of my core belief system rests on the solid ground of the examples my role models provided as a child:

Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. Make room for others and particularly let the little children come. Have faith, hope, charity and love. And the greatest of these is love.



Categories: Human Rights, Personal Development


  1. Beautifully said Henry,

    Warm regards,


    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think we have reached a point in our country where expressing hate feels satisfying. I wish someone at the top would remind us how good it feels to be kind. Yesterday I video taped two police officers aggressively badgering a homeless man who had urinated in public because the public bathroom was closed (and then they bullied me.) I thought about how different the officers might have felt about themselves and their work if they had just said, “Hey, can we help you find an open bathroom?”
    Thanks for the meditation Henry…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kindness, yeah. Why is it so hard to be kind? And speaking of the homeless crisis all across the USA, but especially in the economically booming cities on the West Coast: Where is the Trump administration’s response for resolving this?

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  3. Bravo! Lovely artwork too!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these troubled times that we now must face and overcome. I also hold fast to the same moral, religious tenets expressed in your closing paragraph. Peace to you, too, Henry ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Excellent post.Very well expressed. We are living in troubled times.

    Liked by 1 person


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice … how are you these days? Heading back to SA ? 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well spoken, Henry.
    I like your way of the inking. Thank you for your intelligent words!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for this. I am not a Christian but I have always found the Golden Rule fascinating. You may be interested in this series of posts:


    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks, I just read the link you shared. While I was fully indoctrinated with a form of Christian ethics growing up, my personal belief system has morphed and changed over the years through formal study, a great variety of life experiences and by observing other cultures where I’ve lived and worked for the past two decades. Based on my studies of the teachings of many other world religions, I agree there are many similar messages found in the teachings–one being just as valid as another. My point in the post was to speak out against the hypocrisy being displayed currently by the evangelical wing of Christianity due to their support for a man who seemingly has no loyalties to anyone other than himself. I don’t support evangelizing anyone and believe that religious/spiritual beliefs are innately personal and should be kept that way. Humanity has witnessed far too much violence based on the ‘my god is THE only way’ dogma. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the link.

      Liked by 1 person

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