PAPAS: What is the basis for our values and beliefs?
By Rev.Paul N. Papas II
MetroWest Daily News
Posted Feb 05, 2010 @ 10:08 AM
People have their values and beliefs. What are yours based upon?
Do you realize that your values and beliefs could affect generations to come?
Here is an example how one man’s values and beliefs changed the lives of millions of people and several generations.
The story begins with a young Jewish boy who once lived in Germany. His father was a successful merchant, and the family practiced their Jewish faith. They moved to another Germany city, and the father announced they’d no longer attend synagogue. They were joining the Lutheran church!
Surprised, the boy asked why they were joining the Lutheran church. His father said, “For business reasons. There are so many Lutherans in this town that I can make good business contacts at the Lutheran church. It’ll be good for business.”
That boy, had a deep interest in religion, but became so disillusioned with his father that something died within him. He decided that his father had no real convictions. That incident turned him against religion with a vengeance.
That boy later moved to England and began to write. His name was Karl Marx. As the father of communism he wrote the “Communist Manifesto,” where he called religion “the opiate of the masses.”
Who knows how things could have turned out if Karl Marx’s father had not changed and joined the Lutheran church?
I realize that everything you and I say or do may not have the same impact as the “Communist Manifesto.” However every person who has influence over another will impact someone else’s life. We are all examples, sometimes a good example, sometimes bad.
For example I can’t tell you, but somewhere along the line someone had the idea that if people were different from us, then they weren’t to be trusted. The difference could be in shape of the eyes, skin color, language, or perhaps in their thinking. There are many who reject the idea that differences make people untrustworthy. Our founding fathers decided to put in writing that all people are created equal.
We as a human race have a history of treating people who have for whatever reason contracted a medical condition of a mental illness as a group to shun, make fun of, and ostracizes. There is a certain Stigma that goes with this medical condition that does not happen when someone comes in with a broken arm or a head cold.
Some would look at this medical condition as a reason for thinking the person is not competent to make decisions. There are many reasons why a person may become incompetent, some include by reason of a medical condition of a mental illness. It is also true that most people who have a medical condition of a mental illness are very competent and live healthy and influential lives. Some have become very famous painters, writers, actors, served in Congress and in the White House.
People who have a medical condition of a mental illness have the same needs as everyone else. They need love, attention, and where appropriate a hug. As in many medical conditions a mental illness is treatable.
Each one of us can influence someone else by the example we set by our words, deeds, and actions. Let us remember that a person who has a medical condition of a mental illness has feelings and let us all listen to and deal with them as we would treat ourselves.
(The Rev. Paul N. Papas II is a pastoral counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (located in Massachusetts and Arizona).