I’m going to stick with my theme this week of song-title-post-titles.
Today, a little Bobby M.
There are two reasons for my post today. One has to do with recent situations in our country affording me the opportunity to educate the population – although, I think most of you who read this blog are highly educated, and already have great exposure to the world’s events. (I am hoping, I guess, that if one of those Bachelor Pad fans who maybe hasn’t ever escaped their hometown happens to stumble upon this post today and learns something new… then I’ve accomplished my goal). Secondly, it was thoughts on that situation that led me to the title of this post, “One Love, One Heart.” I will go into more detail on that in a second.
So, what is the topic today? The topic today is one of the ‘forbidden’ ones – you know, the topics you aren’t supposed to talk about on a first date, or upon first meeting your in-laws, or your boss, during an interview, etc. No wonder no one knows anything about it (outside of their own):
Here in the US, we recently had another shooting; a shooting in a Sikh temple that appeared to be hate-related, and left seven people dead. This is a terrible incident, as all shootings are, and I feel for the families. If you are unfamiliar with Sikhism, it is an East Indian-based religion, with about 23 million followers. I grew up and played basketball with a girl from a Sikh family and she and her family were nothing but kind. She was also a damn good baller.
Anyway, what is so annoying to me about these things is that guess what, people… religion is a lot more alike than different. Seriously. I’ve broken bread with Jews, feasted with Muslims in Ramadan, sat down for Easter dinner with Christians, dated a Morman Mission President’s assistant for two years, been blessed by a Buddhist monk, and viewed a Hindu wedding. The culture, the tradition, the ritual … is all unique. But the underlying root of it all? Is actually pretty much the same across the board.
I grew up in a pretty unique circumstance. My parents are from two different religions. And I mean two REALLY DIFFERENT religions. Or, are they… ?? Hmmmm.
Yes, there are some differences… but the basis… well, I found the basis was a lot alike. I opted in my teen years to pick a third, completely different religion. I still identify with it, however, I consider myself more spiritual than religious now. Being in this position has allowed me something that the die-hards don’t get a chance to experience… I’ve seen and experienced many religions in action. And guess what? I love them all.
Each religion says they are the only religion. They are the only ones who are right. After my experiences, I can say, you’re ALL right people. Because you all believe in so many similar things! They’re just different names/prophets/rituals.
It drives me nuts when Ultra-Christians bash Muslims, when hey, you all believe in abstinence! You all believe in prayer! You all believe in one Higher Power! Guns! I found this interesting Web site www.religionfacts.com that had a chart that compared the main 3 religions… and there’s a lot in common on there- more in common than not.
I’m not saying that you need to bail on your religion. Not at all. I am saying that you need to be tolerant and open. I know you will feel as though you are betraying your organization if you explore others’ religions. In fact, of all my religious friends who have brought me into their inner sanctum, very few, if any, have taken up my offer to experience what I’ve seen. Even for you atheists and agnostics out there- quantum physics/laws of attraction hold a lot of similarity to religion!
Listen, you don’t have to convert or anything. But just know that you all really do have more in common than not. SERIOUSLY.
Unfortunately media just loves a juicy story, so they always focus on right-wing nutjobs, jihadists, David Koreshes. You don’t ever hear about the kind, warm-hearted Muslim/Christian/Jewish family helping out a neighbor. Every religion has super, nice amazing people. We just don’t hear about them. Appreciate and love your religion, but be aware you don’t own this planet. There are many others out there that live the way you do, they just call it something different.
Now, back to my parents. As I mentioned, they came from two countries and two religions. But guess what? You got it… One Love, One Heart. Let’s get together and feel alright (by the way, it has not escaped me that there is heavy Rastafarian influence in this song).
You see, I have to be a fan of a dual-religion marriage because, well, I was a product of it. I wouldn’t exist today had my parents not been open to loving someone outside their own faith. And guess what… they are going on 37 years of being married. And still happy!! They are a great example of love and encouragement, and recognizing those things they have in common, versus the things that make them different.
Yahoo/match.com had an article about dating outside your own religion. I’m not saying do it or don’t do it… but what I am saying is that the opportunity may exist outside the world you’ve boxed yourself into. There are plenty of same-religion couples out there who are happy- and some that aren’t! And same for mixed-faith. My friend H has even stepped outside of her strict requirements and is dating a lovely ‘spiritual’ guy who treats her like a queen.
Just be open to it. Be open to the rest of the inhabitants of this lovely planet. From Mars, we all look the same. If you are both willing, you can figure it out. I’m thankful my parents did- even back in the seventies- or I wouldn’t be here writing this blog, so you had better be thankful too!