Just a brief exploration of mercy from a few of the world’s religions and spiritual traditions:
Mercy is what we get when faults are overlooked.
That which Allah openeth unto mankind of mercy none can withhold it; and that which He withholdeth none can release thereafter. He is the Mighty, the Wise.
The Qur’an (Pickthall tr), Sura 35 – The Creator
Justice itself can be a Mercy.
God, however, as has been pointed out in the very beginning of these pages, does not only punish the wrongdoings of His children. He chastises because He is just, and He chastens because He loves. Having chastened them, He cannot, in His great mercy, leave them to their fate. Indeed, by the very act of chastening them He prepares them for the mission for which He has created them. “My calamity is My providence,” He, by the mouth of Bahá’u'lláh, has assured them, “outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy.”
Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 115
Sometimes, humans use apparent mercy to entrap others.
Therefore, the truly great man does not injure others and does not credit himself with charity and mercy.
Tao, Chuangtse (Lin Yutang tr)
We certainly could use more human mercy in our world !
Bounty waits on squalid hunger, gifts dispel the suppliant’s fear,
Gold revives the poor and lowly, mercy wipes the mourner’s tear,
Tender care relieves the stricken by the gracious king’s command,
Charity with loving sweetness spreads her smile o’er all the land!
Hindu, Mababharata (R. Dutt, abridged tr)
It’s our duty as spiritual beings to be merciful.
This is the hour when ye must associate with all the earth’s peoples in extreme kindliness and love, and be to them the signs and tokens of God’s great mercy. Ye must become the very soul of the world, the living spirit in the body of the children of men.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 20
“It is my hope that this standard of the oneness of the world of humanity may be upraised with the utmost solidity so that the Orient and Occident may become perfectly reconciled and attain complete intercommunication, the hearts of the East and West become united and attracted, real union become unveiled, the light of guidance shine, divine effulgences be seen day by day so that the world of humanity may find complete tranquillity, the eternal happiness of man become evident and the hearts of the people of the world be as mirrors in which the rays of the Sun of Reality may be reflected. Consequently, it is my request that you should strive so that the light of reality may shine and the everlasting felicity of the world of man become apparent.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 12
Do you feel like world peace is a fantasy? Here’s an excerpt from the article, Has Your Town Declared Peace Yet?, from a site named YES!, back in April of 2006:
“…citizens in 32 Wisconsin cities, towns, and villages had cast ballots for immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Voters in tiny villages in the North Woods and the Door Peninsula, in the regional urban centers of Madison and La Crosse, and in the small cities that are the heart of the Badger State, sent a clear message.”
If you read that with a bit of skepticism because they “declared” peace in 2006 and the war is still raging, realize that each and every attempt to Wage Peace does add up. Also, the more individuals do take action, the faster the sum of all actions will bring Global Peace…
Waging Peace is not a new concept and the power of nonviolence is a Force More Powerful than the hate and rancor of violence. One of the big reasons there’s still war is simply because not enough people are waging peace…
And, just to add to your understanding that you can Wage Peace, check out this excerpt from Peace Brigades International:
“PBI is an international NGO that has been promoting nonviolence and protecting human rights since 1981. The founders of PBI shared a profound conviction that ordinary people can take action to stop war and human rights violations even when their governments cannot or will not.”