Zoom Meeting Sermon April 3 2022

Topic: Core Tenet #8: 

The only real sin is to treat people like things, including yourself. (The original quote may be found in the Discworld novel Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett.) 

Zelda Fitzgerald says: "What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things instead of using people and loving things.” 

The first Core Tenet of the Path teaches us to do no harm. And harm begins when we think of people as things to be used or obstacles to be overcome rather than fellow minds to be respected.  

On an individual level, this means recognizing the humanity in others, even those with whom we disagree or who might wish us harm. It is easy and often tempting to dehumanize people with vastly different views or philosophies, or people who have hurt us somehow. But it’s important to remember that we are all human. Utilize Self-Control to set aside your personal feelings and exercise Compassion and Patience when you find yourself thinking of another person as a lesser being.  

On a personal level, you should also remember to treat yourself humanely. Give yourself permission to make mistakes sometimes and learn from them. Don’t allow others to deny your humanity, either; stand up for yourself when necessary.  

On a social level, this applies to every time we have chosen to treat entire groups of people as things, from slavery to war to the current prison industrial complex. When we collectively strip people of their humanity, we all lose some of our own humanity in the process. World peace will never be achieved so long as entire countries view one another's citizens as violent animals. True civilization will be out of our reach until we can treat even our criminals with Compassion and dignity.  

Have you ever found yourself thinking of others as less than human? If so, why? 


Reverend CJ Carlin 


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