Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Learning from the rest...
I've always believed that each religion on earth contains a bit of the truth of G-d's plan...and that no religion has it all. We are all on our paths, selected, I believe, by G-d, to meet our needs this time around. I am Jewish, so that is my path. I've explored other faiths, but I know I'm where I belong.
But because I see the value in all the paths, I've always been open to the lessons I find in other religions. I thought it might be nice to express my gratitude for some of the gifts I've gathered from other religions, other paths to the top of the mountain.
From my Muslim friends, I've learned that there is indeed enough to be grateful for in life to pray five times each and every day. And I've learned that it is possible to move through life gracefully and with focus and beauty doing the right things and helping those in need, even when half of the country is ignorant enough to label your religion a religion of terror.
From my Christian friends, I've learned the concept of faith in action. They've demonstrated to me that words don't count and showing up at a religious service doesn't count unless you're out doing something good for G-d's people the rest of the time. Through their service projects and outreach to the hungry and abused, I learned how to really BE a child of G-d, instead of just say I am.
From my Mormon friends, I've learned the way a family can be, can feel, can interact. The countless examples they've shown me of how to build a forever-family has profoundly influenced every aspect of my parenting. What I did not learn from my family of origin, I was given instead by the LDS families I came to know.
From my Buddhist friends, I've learned how to be quiet, how to be mindful, and how to experience the moment. I've discovered the profound value in sitting still and being alone with myself, free from distraction and sound and doing.
From my Hindu friends, I've been given the knowledge that G-d can take different forms for different people, different places and different times, and yet remain in unity and wholeness.
From my Quaker friends, I've been given the gift of centering down. Of finding that quiet space amid the noise, and of being free from the need to speak just for the sake of filling the silence. I've also learned that it is possible to be completely against war, and not defend that belief from those who would call it irrational or unrealistic. It just is.
For all of these, and for the countless times that a word, an idea, an image from your faith has touched me, and inspired my growth on my own path, I say now...thank you.