Sometimes I am just in awe of the places life takes us. Our path sometimes seeming so certain and then a sudden jog in the trail. Or when suddenly an idea pops into your head that just feels so right and sends you shooting into another dimension of thought!
I've talked about negativity before. And sadly we get doses of it everyday whether we want to or not. I got a hefty dose this morning that knocked a little of the wind out of my sail. But as you might be able to see, instead of moping about or taking it out on other people, I decided to write this post.
An iea struck me last night while I was driving home from Kansas City with A. It was the most inspirational time of day in the Midwest. The time where the sun is very low in the sky and the farm land is golden and beautiful. It reminds me that there is beauty everywhere we go and at certain moments, God likes to put those places in the spot light.
Driving is one of my favorite things to do when I need to think. A was on the phone with an old friend and their excitement just got my energy going. I started thinking about the blog and the purpose and why it's so important that I keep writing. It occurred to me that my "You Be the Judge" post felt a little incomplete. I started wondering why we judge people and criticize and what might help us feel more comfortable around people that are new to us or even people we've known forever. It dawned on me that it's quite simple. We must learn about them. Learn the ins and outs of their culture and why they live the way that they live. Learn about their personal situation and not judge their behavior based on character. Isn't this basic? Didn't we learn this stuff on Sesame Street?
So why did it take me so long to get these exact words out? I always knew this deep in my heart but as I thought back to all the people in my life that are so different from me yet I love so very much, I realized that I learned so much about their differences from me that they no longer even seem that different.
M grew up in a faith that is very different from my own. Her beliefs were so foreign to me that I wasn't sure what to think about all of it when we first met. But M was so open with me. She was willing to teach me and answer the questions that I had. M let me ask hard questions that might have been taken as ignorant to someone else. Those questions were hard and scary, but I knew they were important to fully understand. Now it feels like we were never even different from the start.
Learning about someones personal circumstance is also been a key way to find love and acceptance when people are behaving in a negative/hurtful way. I've recently encountered many hateful words and behavior that I find to be hurtful toward others and what do I do? I just get angry with the people who behaved that way and the hate cycle spirals! It's important to take the time to learn about the person, their situation, what might have driven them and so on. It may not be appropriate to approach them directly and ask them about this, but if you play out some scenarios in your head and use common sense about human nature and why we do certain things (the psychologist in all of us!) then it's much easier to move on instead of throwing hate back in their direction. Even if it's just mental hate inside your own head. And then ultimately we learn from their mistakes and learn how we would rather behave based on their behavior.
I think there is a lot of anger and judgement in the world because we have a lack of understanding of our differences. But as I said in the previous post, at our very core we are all the same. We are all human beings and we all have our own purpose.
So with all that in mind, I want to learn!! I want to learn about everything. I want to learn about food culture, language, religion, ceremony, relationships, clothing, and dialect. Most importantly I want to learn about people and who they are within their culture. I want to learn about how they perceive the things I'm writing about within their country and culture. There is a whole world out there of things to learn and people to love and I think this blog is a perfect place to do that. So starting today I will pick a country. I will do my best to learn about something very specific in that countries culture. And I want to share it with all of you. I want us all to learn about things together in hopes that we are creating a more loving environment in this world.
As you know each post has something to do with a topic that is currently happening in my life or in the lives of many around me. I don't typically address politics or religion but more human interaction, emotion and spirituality. As I continue to write I am going to begin corressponding with bloggers, writers, artists, and others from countries from all over the world. I'd like to begin learning about their cultures, not just on a surface level, but gain some perspective about the topics I write about from their side of things where they come from.
To update you on my status, I have sent out e mails to several bloggers from Afghanistan (why not start aplphabetically with countries around the world!) as well as bloggers from other parts of the world who have spent significant amounts of time in Afghanistan. I am going to continue with this topic of embracing others and get perspective from people in Afghanistan about how they feel about being judged by others within and outside of their culture. And how they combat those judgments and learn to embrace one another.
Maybe we are all more similar than we think... we shall see :)
Wish me luck on my correspndance! Hopefully I get some responses back soon!
BPositive and as Mahatma Gandhi said "BThe Change You Want to See in the World!"