Every month I download the Soul Matters packet and read it quickly front to back to get a general overview. Inevitably, one thing will pop out at me. This month it was the quote from Elie Wiesel:
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.”
– Elie Wiesel
These words popped out at me because they rang so true for me. As a concentration camp survivor, Elie Wiesel was able to write these profoundly true words about faith because he had direct experience.
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”
I used to love the song lyrics of the Persuaders 1971 hit, “There’s a thin line between love and hate”. When you care deeply about someone, you can actually feel both love and hate, which is the opposite of being indifferent to them.
“The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference.”
When I was younger I did believe the opposite of beauty is ugliness. But then I learned to see the beauty in crippled old trees, and worn out lace.
“The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.”
Early Unitarian Michael Servetis was burned at the stake for being a heretic. We know him to be a person of great faith. His faith was so strong that he could not ignore it, even if it went against the conventional. He was unable to be indifferent.
“And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.”
The first source of Unitarian Universalist faith is “Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life.”
Direct Experience is a source of our faith… We are living it every day… Yet another reason why I am a Unitarian Universalist…
Director, Adult Religious Exploration