Do you know that the first recorded murder in human history is related to religion? The Christian Bible has a story of two brothers who went to offer sacrifices to God: Cain and Abel. Abel’s offering was accepted while Cain’s was not. This made Cain so infuriated that he killed Abel, his brother. This heinous act is still so much in force today, both within and without the workplace. How do I mean?
Some religious teachers make their followers believe that there are other humans who are responsible for their failures and drawbacks in life. And that if they are ever going to make any advancements in life, they have to remove these ‘bad eggs’. So what do we see? When anyone at work is in a disagreement with them, instead of seeking to understand the person’s point of view, and possibly arrive at a more convenient alternative, they resolve to avoid the person. An enemy has been born! When a superior calls their attention to a job not well done, they see her as a threat to their employment and promotion. An enemy has been born! When they are not allowed to worship their ‘god’ during work, their boss is an ‘anti-God’. An enemy has been born! When someone makes any careless remark about their god or any of his messengers, they will never allow their god to fight for himself – if truly he exists. An enemy has been born! And what do you do to an enemy – KILL!
Look around you and you will realize that the most underdeveloped, war-torn, and poorest nations of the world are also the most religious nations. The most annoying and difficult set of human beings to relate with are also the most religious people. Why is religion so deadly?
It is only religion that can make a full-grown man to trek several miles to a place of worship barefooted. It is only religion that can make a man keep his beards till his look is like that of an animal. It is only religion that can make an adult bath in public. It is only religion that offers killing other humans (your enemies!) as a passport to heaven – Holy War! It is only religion that teaches that work is a curse – stay in your place of worship and provisions will come knocking at your door!
Dear friend, if you are ever going to make any meaningful progress in your life, especially as it relates to work, you must learn to replace your religious cap with your thinking cap. When you go to your place of worship, never forget your brain at home. Never accept any teaching that makes other humans an object of threat that needs to be eliminated. If everyone on earth looks like you, thinks like you, or acts like you, the world would be a boring and monotonous place to live in. Diversity is the cure for adversity and the hope of prosperity. You must develop the maturity to resolve your differences with people – conflicts are inevitable. Build the stamina to overlook the faults of others; be open to rebuke; be teachable; be tenderhearted; be caring.
In my own submission, true religion is this: DO FOR OTHERS WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO FOR YOU!
To your productivity!
Dele Ayo Bankole (DAB)