On this page we will include various contributions from the different faith and belief groups. The first is the ‘moment of reflection’ that was offered at the RBWM Council Meeting on the 22nd February 2022 by Anthony Lewis of the Windsor Humanists.
Moment of Reflection from Anthony Lewis of the Windsor Humanists
Thank you for the opportunity to provide a moment of reflection at the start of today’s council meeting.
Many of us now live in a social media echo chamber where we mainly interact with people who are like us or think like us. We are becoming ever more suspicious of difference and contemptuous of people who hold equally valid but different views from ourselves. These people we unfriend, block, or worse. We all have experienced the vitriol of the faceless online troll and wander how can anyone be so nasty to a stranger.
The pandemic has exaggerated these trends and, in some ways, brought us together against the shared threat from Covid, but the successive lockdowns also isolated us even further from each other.
These experiences online and during the pandemic could drive us to turn even more inwards to our own church, family or community thus exaggerating our differences & separation further. It becomes a vicious circle which narrows our wider community dividing us into smaller identity groups based on faith, belief, ethnicity, or wealth.
But we all have so much more in common than the barriers of difference & fear that we erect. We have our shared humanity. At the core of most religions when you strip out the doctrinal and divine aspects is a wish to live a good life according to the Golden Rule – treat others as you want to be treated yourself.
And that is Humanism – a positive life stance centered on people based on our shared humanity guided by reason, evidence and science, without reliance on unseen supernatural entities.
Humanists focus on this one precious life that we all experience directly and know. We believe our innate altruism and evolved sense of empathy will always endure over our more violent primitive instincts otherwise humanity as a species would not have survived for us to be here in this chamber today.
Therefore as a humanist, I have a deep faith in the unlimited power of human love, kindness and compassion to win through in the end, to bring us together despite our differences. Wouldn’t it be good for us all if we had more of it?