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This Month’s Message: Harmonious Interconnectedness

Oyasama once said:

“Here are some grapes for you. Like these, in the world, everybody is to relate to each other with round minds.”
Anecdotes of Oyasama, no. 135

“In peace sons bury fathers, but in war fathers bury sons,” said Herodotus, who lived about twenty-five hundred years ago. Throughout history, humankind has fought wars. Herodotus’s words are poignant even today.

It has been said that since time immemorial there has never been a time without a war being fought somewhere in the world. There are always those who, full of hatred, try to hurt and kill others in some part of the world. Within a given society, as well, there is no shortage of quarrels and conflicts. In companies, bitter arguments can rage between managers and their staff members as well as among colleagues. In families, also, harsh words are often exchanged between husbands and wives, between them and their in-laws, and between parents and children.

Even children know that they should get along with each other. Yet adults tend to find it difficult to treat each other in a friendly way. Although people are good at coming up with reasons for forgiving themselves, they are very bad at forgiving others.

In a sense, the history of humankind may be a history of conflict and fighting.

Nonetheless, humankind has managed to build the prosperity we enjoy today instead of becoming extinct through conflict and fighting; this is largely because a great deal of effort and ingenuity has gone into trying to avoid and settle conflict and fighting. Here, then, is a key to humankind’s future.

The origin of all conflict can be traced to greed and arrogance in human minds. People’s egos make them fight and hurt one another. Even if they know that there is nothing to gain from fighting, their anger and hatred can get the better of them and sometimes make them resort to violence.

How we relate to people around us can often determine whether our lives are joyful and happy or depressing and gloomy. Whether or not we can build positive relationships with others may hold the key to making our lives joyous. Even those who have wealth and status and are in good health may fail to feel joyous if they and people around them hate one another. On the other hand, even those who have no wealth or status and are ill can live with joy and hope if surrounded by supportive and loving people. Surely, enjoying friendly and harmonious relationships is one of the greatest joys of living in this world.

All of us humans are like the grapes in the same bunch, which represents God, the Parent of humankind. Enough of hurting one another! Nothing is sadder to parents than seeing their children fight each other.

May the flames of hatred in people’s minds subside and all fighting end. May all people develop the broadmindedness to forgive others and the strength to trust others. May all people nurture the loving-kindness to sympathize with others in pain and pray for the happiness of others. May all people throughout the world relate to one another with round minds like the grapes in the same bunch, thereby allowing the Joyous Life World to emerge as soon as possible.

Oyasama is eagerly waiting for it.

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