... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

this week's tip | open your mind

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Do you believe in God?  Which God?  Vishnu?  Arianrhod?  Ahura Mazda?   Tsohanoai?

I believe in the faith of endless possibility.  To me, your God is as real as my own but so what?  Does what I believe really impact your life in any significant way?  Why are there people who always try to make someone understand things in their way?  Why is it important that you should agree 100% with me and I, with you?

My dad used to say 'leave the matters of faith alone for your heart to decide: it's a personal decision.'  That's resonated and stayed with me throughout my entire adult life, for I also believe we each have our own path that twists and turns us in its own way.  A way unique of any other that shows us different things and teaches us each a different lesson.  How could I ever possibly see the world the way a 50 year old man living on the Irish coastline would?  Or a 17 year old Somali girl?  Or Giorgio Tsoukalos?   Why are there some that think I need to?  Isn't faith meant to be a very sacred, personal issue to everyone?  Something that brings you comfort and bravery.  I mean honestly, what do you care who I'm praying to in the dead of night?  How does that touch your life at all?

The very idea of converting someone to your religion baffles me.  Mainly because no two people ever really interpret things the same way, but also because of how much one person can change over the course of their lifetime.  I've often heard Christians say that one Bible passage could come to mean two, or three, or even four different things throughout their own lives, depending on the reader's mood, situation, growth or change in life.  Which part then, would you try and make me see?

I dream of a world in which we are each secure enough in our own beliefs that we don't to try cramming them down the throat of anyone else; and not merely from a religious standpoint either.  A world in which government systems aren't so hell-bent on controlling every last one of us, that they feel the need to periodically fuel the hatred and underline the differences between us all.  A perfect utopia in which we are all open-minded enough to believe there is validity in every faith.

What I'm about to say isn't meant to sound like boasting, but I consider my own life as testimony that peace can be attained through open minds.  Consider me briefly:  I was born and raised Russian Orthodox in a communist society | despite a communist, atheist grandfather, who incidentally remains my most beloved relative | my mother is Baptist | my best friend is Baptist | I'm not sure about my bro exactly, but think he's somewhere between Christian and ancient-astronaut-theorist | I married a Methodist | moved to America where my closest friends became: (OMG) Muslims (what!), Greek Orthodox, transcendentalists, New Agers, Catholics and (sorry mama) atheists.  Oh, and can you believe I've somehow managed to befriend republicans and democrats (even a tea party enthusiast) alike?  It's baffling...or is it?  Because, in my opinion:  no one cares.  No one I want to be around, anyway.  My friends and I take each other at face value and leave personal beliefs alone, since we all believe you reached your own conclusions on purpose.      

It's so enriching to share your life experience with people from vastly different backgrounds to your own.  To discover how your silly buddy that makes you laugh so hard you get abdominal pain, can even have a sense of humour when he was raised in poverty in Bangladesh.  Or how your Iranian friend's entire family with Zoroastrian beliefs were simply told to convert to Islam and within a week had their homes stripped of any Zoroastrian book or artifact, who has legitimate reasons to despise Muslims, but doesn't.

It's an enormous world and I think it's fair to state that every 7+ billion of us have a unique perspective and personal belief.  I will never make you try and see the world through the eyes of a girl born in Kazakhstan during the Soviet Union era but grew up in Australia.  Nor could I ever fully adopt your point of view.  I do believe, however, that with an open mind we can empathize with each other and learn so much about what it is to live in this world.  Isn't that what we're here for?

Peace out.    


  1. "Breathe love into every step you take." Author unknown.

    Very nice post, Lena!




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Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.


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