You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong.
From Compensation, First Series, by Ralph Waldo Emerson
By far, this essay is the one I return to again and again. These days, there is always some wisdom that I can apply to any fleeting situation or concern. I appreciate that his approach isn't so much fire and brimstone as it is, this is how the world works - whether or not you believe.
The exclusionist in religion does not see that he shuts the door of heaven on himself in striving to shut out others.
Recently, I have read about folks who have suffered emotional harm from people who are supposed to love them. Sometimes, the emotional harm comes in the way of rejection because a child or sibling or mother or father, does not have or maybe never had the same religious feeling. Has that rejection resulted in happiness? Not agreeing with a path another has taken should not mean that there is no longer love or concern. Who is impressed?
Treat men as pawns and ninepins, and you shall suffer as well as they. If you leave out their heart, you shall lose your own.
I often feel like us folks here on earth are playing out some petty trick organized by people who consider themselves the equivalent of gods. That the thunderclaps and lightning that come from who knows where, are the slights hurled at one another of these presumed gods -- disregarding the fact that the world at which the fire was thrown or the rain flooded resulted in destruction of the world in which the majority of us live.
The senses would make things of all persons; of women, of children, of the poor. ... All infractions of love and equity in our social relations are speedily punished. They are punished by fear.
It is bad enough to be a pawn, but to infect the world with fear - fear that is reflective of manufactured and self-inflicted harm. It is too much.
The specific stripes may follow late after the offence, but they follow because they accompany it. ... Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end pre-exists in the means, the fruit in the seed.
And remarkably, this has shown in my lifetime to be true.