AUTHOR: Mehr Minhas

(Student, Grade 12, Vivek High School, Chandigarh)

Millions of years ago, penguins could fly. But they evolved into flightless birds. Scientists say this is a case of devolving or one could simply say evolving backwards. It is said that change is the only constant; hence, evolution is the only constant. But is the veracity of this story true? Metaphorically speaking, humans have been devolving since people of colour, different religion, gender or caste were seen as inferior or not human. Humans have entered an unfathomable void of ignorance, insatiability, power and irrational thoughts which expands every time an individual takes a single breath.

War is known to mankind but peace is not. On the contrary, peace does not satisfy the desires of mankind while war brings up destruction and millions of causalities, the end result serves only a few. One major reason for war is religion, ironically. Every religion preaches peace but somehow people believe their religion preaches peace better. Ultimately, leading people to go to war to prove that very statement. Values, ethics and the essence of morality is taught through religion. Buddhism teaches us the simplicity of life, while Sikhism teaches us to stand up for the underprivileged. Hinduism teaches us about karma and Islam teaches us patience and the art of giving back. Humans tend to sideline this and focus on the negative aspects. Individuals strive to force their religion on the other which goes against values their own religion teaches them. The essence of religion is to keep in check our actions; it is present to make sure morality is intact. The manipulation of religion has made us go back centuries, a time which our respective religion strived to change.

Humans need to recognize that religion is a part of their life but violating your religion to prove that it’s somehow superioror better is not alright. It is on you to believe in your religion or to not believe in it. Everyone is free to follow whichever path they desire. You may change your religion, or you may not follow any religion at all. Spreading hate or violence in the name of your religion is unacceptable.

Religion was meant to unify and not divide. Yet, it’s what humans have molded religion into, a tool for division. Religion was meant to promote a sense of belonging but humans have snatched the identity of those which don’t follow the same religion. Having a mindset based on ideas borrowed from communalism and discrimination is the exact opposite of what this world requires.

In conclusion, humans need to look beyond than what religion one belongs to. They need to look for qualities and help people feel accepted. It is imperative for us to realize the importance of acceptance and behave like an evolved species.

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