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Sparrow, you say these items are defined by the better of the two, light/darkness, joy/happiness. I submit to you that they are defined by a lack of the better. Darkness is not in and of itself anything but an absence of light. We know sorrow because we do not have joy. If the bad is defined by an absence of the good, evil is the absence of good. This is what religion has been trying to tell us. How do we conquer our egos and replace it with what God wants us to do? Having Faith is great but Faith alone will not cure the ills of the world. You need action as well. If I believe but do not act in accordance with what I believe than am I no better than not believing? Having Faith means having the courage to put into action the laws that have been set down for me regardless of the majority or others may say or do. You cannot judge God by what his people do. Yes, in the past he dealt harshly with us. Just as a parent must teach the child what is right and wrong. When the child does wrong, it is punished. For a parent to do other leads the child down a path that will cause it harm and problems in the future. It is always easier for a parent to become less strict with a child than more strict in the future. The lessons learned from the time of leanancy will stay and create more problems between the child and the parent. We are that child. Thinking we can do everything for ourselves and not needing or wanting guidance or discipline from the parent. We value strength over compassion, money over almost all else, our ego over service to others and individuality over unity.

We have reached a stage in our developement that allows, no makes, us responsible for our own salvation. This child, I call humanity, has reached the age where it can choose for itself. But do we choose the old ideas of the past, war over cooperation, wealth over compassion, evil over good, light over darkness or do we choose another path. That of mutual cooperation, service, hope, and love. We are at the crossroads and we are asked to choose. We make the future not planted in the past but with the hopes and dreams of what can be and should be. This, to me, is what is defined as God's kingdom on earth. Where we truely live together in peace and prosperity. Where we do care about the sick, poor and hungry not only around us but of the world. Where we make choices that elevate the human spirit in all that we do. This is the choice that we are faced with today. I hope and pray that our leaders, both political and spiritual, see the the need to look for new answers to the old questions. I heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results. Let's stop the same old and create the new. We have this capability if we but exercise it. It's called action.

In the US we are facing the highest amount of unemployment in over 50 years. A new report came out that tv viewing is also at its highest. What if we turned the tv off and started helping out were we can. Volunteering at schools, hospitals, food banks or any other service project. The amount of both time and knowledge that is available now is astounding. Let's make lemonade out of the lemons we are given. We know people that need help in cleaning their yards, cars, attics and the list goes on. We have the time so why not do something of service for someone else. This is what religion means to me. Each one of us helping in whatever way to and for the betterment of humanity.