02 March 2011

All That's Sacred

It's really interesting to see just how people decide what's sacred and what isn't sacred.  Usually we follow the guidance of our religions to determine if a certain text or place or person is sacred or not, as if the people who are leading lives based in established religions somehow have a monopoly on deciding what's sacred and what's not.  Personally, I feel that almost everything is sacred, from the grass growing outside my front door to the car that I drive to work in.  An object's sacredness lies entirely in my perspective towards it, and many things can be sacred to me that aren't sacred to other people.

On the one hand, sacred can mean simply "worthy of respect," according to the dictionary.  On the other, it can mean "made or declared holy," and I believe that this latter definition is the most important one when we consider the sacredness of so many things in our everyday lives.

This computer that I work on allows me to be in contact with people who are very important to me, and it allows me to create work that helps my students to learn, and it allows me to develop websites and learn about the world.  What could be more holy than a tool that allows me to do all that and more?  My apartment gives me a place to rest and recharge so that I'm able to go on teaching; it gives me a safe place to read and to learn about life and living; it gives me a place where I can be entertained by movies that keep me learning and laughing.  What could be more sacred?  The food that I eat keeps me alive, and it's very sacred to me, be it a donut or a plate of spaghetti or a salad.

I think we make a mistake when we reserve the term "sacred" for just those things that organized religions find to be holy.  I think that all life is sacred, even the cashier at the supermarket and the kid in the back row in the classroom and the guy who cut me off in traffic.  All things must be holy, for they're all children and creations of our God, whatever we conceive that God to be.  So look around and see the sacred in all that surrounds you, and you just may be surprised to realize just how much of what surrounds you truly is sacred.

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