Asha, the student who I used to teach Unification classes in Uganda, wrote to me because she was wondering what to do when some of her friends had different lifestyles and different beliefs. Below is her letter and then my response.
My letter to Asha:
March 23, 2014
Thank you so much for the wonderful letter. I know dear you want your friends to be happy and agree with you. And understanding each other is also important in relationship.
When we are loving people those are the challenges we must face, and all our friends are not the same. Each individual has different idea. People especially have different ideas about God. When a person says “God does not exist,” what they mean, often, is that they do not agree with the common ideas about God. For example, that God is an old man, God is jealous, God is vengeful, etc. Many beliefs people have are reactions or misunderstandings. These things change slowly, but you can love them and SHOW them God’s love while never mentioning God’s name. In that way, you can heal them and when their pain or misunderstanding is healed, it will be easier for them to be open to new ideas.
My idea is that, love them and with time they will realize the truth.
When you love, you have to be open, avoiding blaming people and you don’t need to limit your relationship with them. For example, you must love all people.
The religions can’t separate us from love, love is open to everyone, protestants, Catholics non-believers etc. Our love is for everyone, and it is good for everyone. For example, when I was in Uganda I used to teach my neighbor about love, but she didn’t agree with me and she was against love. But still my message affected her. Now she is teaching love herself! She writes to me, and she is sharing cards for living with people in her new city. Can you imagine?
Always, people make choices, and sometimes people change. Change is the fact of life! For example, I‘m changing a lot here. Sometimes I used to hurt my sweetheart, but when I realized that, I decided to change my old habits to stop hurting her.
Remember, each individual has love and he or she needs to be loved. No matter someone is poor or rich, stubborn or sweet all need love. I always tell people that love is more valuable than anything because no one can buy love. For example, people buy beautiful cars or houses, but no one can buy love. Love comes only from human hearts. You see?
With much love,