I think that, over many posts, I have tried to re-vivify the notion of the need for love in this world, as love is the natural expression of the Divine. But there are some that would say, "Where is this Divine Love? So much suffering goes on, children are slaughtered, maimed, abused and made hungry, and yet you call on us to believe in the unseeable who does not seem to care about what's going on!"
This was the kind of argument returned by those who had witnessed the bloody futility of the Western Front in World War One, and it is not easy to answer - though there is a direct answer.
But rather than trying to answer head-on, as it were, perhaps it is wise to open our eyes and look for evidence around us of Divine Love.
This past week I was inspired - for some reason - to look more into the nature of water. I was not looking into this subject with any result in mind, but I felt that it is a topic worth knowing more about. Particularly as we depend upon it for life itself. After all, adults are each composed of seven-tenths water as, indeed, is the whole of the planet.
So I found a book that perhaps has been read by many, but has got lost in the mayhem that the world has experienced this last 20 years. It's a book that was first published in 2001, called "The Hidden Messages In Water" by Dr. Masaru Emoto. In it there are some fascinating accounts of water crystal formations that were formed depending on what words were shown to water - the more kindly the message the more beautiful the formations.
And here is the most intriguing part: that Dr. Emoto came to the conclusion that the most successful attitude to life would include 2 parts gratefulness (for life) and 1 part love, equating to the formula H2O!
It seems to me that true 'respect' can only come from devotion. That to me is the underlying aspect that's missing. And it's the devotion that Jesus spoke of when he summarised the commandments as Love of God and one's neighbour ... "with all thy heart and all thy mind".
It sounds as though I'm preaching, but Jesus was touching on a truth that a lot of people haven't thought on. That is that the inherent nature of us all is the same! In India they call it the Atma - the indwelling soul - that links us all one to another, so that if we slander or hurt we should realise that we only slander or hurt ourselves, and that the law of Karma will bring about just rewards one way or another - "what goes around comes around".
So we are not really separate. Outwardly we seem different, but inwardly all are the same.
I believe that until we come to properly realise that (and Christianity never has taught it properly except by individuals whose lives have been a demonstration of that truth) then true 'respect' will not materialise. 'Respect' is not something that can be forced or enforced. It must come from free will - from love. And a demonstration of that (by example) is the biggest possible challenge for politicians and employers!