I keep my rules on my Facebook page and social media sites very minimal. Through the years I have had to remind people that when I introduce a controversial topic, I expect everyone to honor other people, not just opinions. If anyone…ANYONE…begins to cross that line, I shut it down. Period. I have multiple reasons I suppose, but mainly, there are lots of pages where a person can go to get into arguments, degrade others while maintaining that you are only trying to persuade them, and basically shout to your heart’s content that you are right and others are wrong.
Empathy does not do that. In fact, I do not think we even know what it means anymore or how our words, written within the context of opposing opinions, must be carefully chosen if we want to convey or express empathy. I want to note where the issue breaks down looking at a simple definition of empathy:
Yes, of course, you and I might apply labels to things we believe. We might identify ourselves with a religious belief, a political party, a profession, but labeling removes the person from the equation of conversation. And once you remove the person, you are no longer sharing their experiences and emotions. You are negating them. You are negating the person.
On my pages, I won’t accept it. Period.
Namaste is not an Indian or Hindu term alone, though it might be labeled that. It is just as confusing when anyone tries to tell a Christian from the Middle East they shouldn’t call God, Allah, though that is the word for God in their language.
Namaste is more than a gesture, it is a way of viewing others as a person, in the way God, in the person of Jesus, looks at us and came to us. This is one more reason I love the name, Immanuel, for Jesus, for it means, “God with us.” God thought more of us than to label us lost, God came to us in the greatest gesture of namaste.