Why are we scared of the strange, different, and new? I remember as a young girl (actually this is recorded on tape cassette) I was praying for all those heathens in all of those foreign countries because that is the impression from all the adults surrounding gave me, and that somehow America was a beacon for Christian values and all other places were destined for hell. Now I am not so dense to think that is actually what the adults were thinking maybe, I am not even sure. Kids pick up some interesting ideas, the shells of ideas, and sometimes even carry those onto adulthood.
We’ve gone through many transitions over the years, where at this point I am no longer religious but I do hold a lot of values learned from various things like religion with me. There is a current philosopher Alain De Botton who talks about these very concepts. How people of no faith should take into consideration the values of those with it. I very much respect those with it, I was a very devout Catholic for some time and so I understand and still do value it. There are a lot of things that religions understood and preserved which we could definitely all learn from. I was also protestant my whole youth, so it definitely has offered me differing perspectives and understandings. One thing I realize though, the flaw in how I saw things. I could never just see and be with people, somewhere in the back of my mind was the idea that I needed to somehow convince them of my point of view. It is so high-minded, because in so doing, I postured myself above them and their way of thinking and life. Many times their lives would be something I should emulate, but because of that mentality, I switched it around. It is that whole concept where you listen just so that you have the chance to talk. Just be present.
These are my observations from over the years, and the more cultures I am around, the more those prior thoughts have holes poked into them. In our bubble, we can convince ourselves of anything. If we are actually interacting with the world, not from our armchair, things change, ideas change. What we fear, is that very thing…change. Don’t fear the world, embrace it. If what you have is solid, what is there to fear? If you were coming from a religious perspective, all of these lives paint the face of god, so don’t fear what people have, love it, learn from it.