Friday, June 30, 2017

"Living As We Should" Movement

"To live as we should" a translation of a phrase often heard in religious circles.The movement has spread to many religions in Korea. Recently 171 members of 7 religious groups: Catholics, Buddhists, Won Buddhists, Confucians, Cheondo believers, Protestants, and traditional Folk Religion believers gathered for discussion on how to develop our common human nature.

Both Catholic papers contained articles on the meeting and the discussion. The keynote speaker stressed that we need to go beyond the theoretical words to help each other live a more human life and we can learn from each other about our common humanity.

In the discussion, it was determined that each of the participants needs to develop their own human potential. Each one has their special calling and the need to live this as perfectly as possible. One participant mentioned that if society does not see us as authentic we will have little influence.

All see the need to understand and work together in harmony with each other. Efforts are made to make the movement more systematic than in the past. Korea, said one of the participants, needs this movement to become a mellower country.

Are there any other countries in the world that would be able to gather representatives of so many different religious beliefs and spend two days together in discussion on how to live more harmoniously together?

Korea has a history of working together harmoniously with other religions.  We do have squabbles and at times conflict but the larger segments of religious life desires to live in harmony with others who have a different understanding of God and our place on the earth.

The secularists and atheists were not included in this movement, along with the religious fundamentalists for obvious reasons. This is sad for the differences between religious believers, secularists, atheists and fundamentalists are often the bitterest and the most difficult to overcome. Even talking about our common humanity is not easily done.

If we had an understanding of freedom and respect for another's conscience and openness to encounter between the different segments of society we would have a gentler society. Catholicism respects the freedom of conscience of all to believe or not to believe. It is an inalienable right of the human person. The Church does not impose but proposes, a freedom we all should enjoy.

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