Milestones towards REVERENCE

Albert Einstein noted that: “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

The rancor and conflict prevalent in the world today cannot be solved by politics, law, or reason.  These are indeed the levels of thinking that got us in the mess in which we find ourselves.  Our laws, politics, and economics were formed by greedy traders several centuries ago. We are still living with that thinking.  More of the same will only make it worse.  We cannot solve spiritual problems with economics.

The one thing that all religions easily agree on is reverence.  Reverence is the missing element that alone can undo the massive conflict we find in the world.  Reverence trumps politics, laws, and economic systems. 

Reverence, worship, awe - these are the keystones of all the world’s religions.  From our sacred texts:

  • In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. [Psalm 89:7]

  • ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” [Mark 12:30-31]

  • O you who believe, you shall revere God and believe in His messenger. He will then grant you a double portion of His mercy and grant you a light with which you shall walk and He will forgive you. God is Forgiver, Merciful. [Quran 57:28] 


There are steps that can be taken to undo the mess we are in.  I think of these as ceramonies of reverence. Some of them are:

The first step is to become more reverent ourselves. We cannot hope to teach or share what we have not yet learned or practice.

  • spend more time in nature. It is the master teacher on reverence
  • turn off our televisions.  TV only reinforces  self-centeredness, materialism, and the belief that we have power over all things if we are just clever enough, work hard enough, and persist
  • employ a silent meditation and prayer practice 
  • grow some food in your backyard or herb box
  • participate in local charitable activities
  • ride a bike or walk - it’s amazing what one notices when not in a car, bus, or plane
  • use your cell phone as a phone.  Real wisdom surrounds us - it is not to be found on our phones
  • read daily from the Holy books: the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran
  • pray often daily

We need to educate our youth about the dangers of power, and how power leads us to thinking that we are in control of all matters which in turn leads to horrible disasters like the American invasion of Afghanistan. 

We need to introduce the idea of reverence and all its implications into our grade schools.  After all, is this country about ethics, justice, human dignity or maximizing profits?  Sadly, our attempts to keep religion out of public education left out ethics and the key virtue of reverence.  To teach reverence, you must find the seeds of reverence in each person and help them grow.

Live frugally - buy only what you need.  It is truly amazing how little one actually needs to be happy.

Start a local alternative news outlet (that includes Jews, Christians, and Muslims) whose topics are about undoing conflict through reverence toward God, other people, our fragile planet, and the importance of the afterlife.

Once again nature is our master teacher on reverence - Spend a good deal of time marveling over sunrises and sunsets. 


Peace be upon you!