So, I’m at my local coffee shop, Wykoff Starr (holla Bushwick!), and I’m having an interesting discussion with one of the baristas. We were discussing the holidays, and what his plans were. I knew he was Jewish, so, I was interested in what his family did during this time of the year. Now…it turns out, that by heritage he is indeed Jewish, but, apparently some of his extended family jumped ship and became Christian, and in his immediate family they are athiest. And, I thought…cool. Why? Because, I am not into traditions being kept up simply because that’s what’s done, but, because that’s what works for you.
Again, let me state that although I am a highly spiritual person, I am not religious. I do not believe in organized religion at all. In my opinon, there’s too much of a herd mentality involved. Which brings me to the point of this blog. The point being that we as a whole do not allow one another enough elbow room to breathe, expand, or grow, and the damage being caused is our own fault, really. I don’t know if anyone reads anymore, but, a few months ago, it was revealed that Mother Theresa spent a few decades writing to a Cardinal in which she was increasingly questioning her faith in God. And, this information was just revealed, of course, after she’s been Sainted and everything. Now, I’m not Catholic, but, I can understand how as a human being who was emersed in the suffering of others for years on end, might start to question everything. I’m sure there are quiet a few people shocked and angry to find out the painful secrets Theresa was keeping, but, after all…she was human. Can we not understand that? Can we not allow eachother room to question, change our minds, grow, explore? Truth is…NO. We can’t and we don’t. We want people to live in a box so we always know where to find them, how to define them, and the moment they try to leave that box, we ge a bit pissy with them, like its going to effect our daily lives somehow.
Another case in point. Another few weeks ago I read in the NY Times about how some very famous leader in Atheism has changed his mind and now believes that there is a God. OH….dude…the Atheists went ccrrraaazzzyyy. They’ve done everything from accussing the academic/religious community of taking advatage of this a fraile old man’s mind, to trying to re-convert him into Atheism. Wow…call me silly, but, if you’re an atheist, why do you care? In recent times, there’s been a lot of books released on Atheism, and hey that’s cool, but…why are these people coming off as foaming-at-the-mouth angry?! Fundamentalism in any form is dangerous. There are religious zealots, and apparently, they are now being balanced out by the Atheistic zealots… Ew…excuse me, I’ll be elsewhere. See??? Herd mentality… Apparently, you can’t spend years thinking one way, and the get to the point where you change your mind. In politics, that’s very frowned upon, they call it “flip-flopping”, but, me…I call it growth.
So, as my friend and I were talking about this at the coffee shop, he mentioned that people would be upset by “leaders” changing their minds about something they’ve practiced for many years. Uh…okay, yeah, I can understand that. But, the truth is, most of us aren’t practicing what we expect our leaders to live. We want someone else to walk the narrow path. We want someone else to practice what they preach, so we can build a pedestal under them and worship. And, when, that person has a moment where they say, “Hey, I think I was wrong, I want to try something else.” Then…we want to kill ’em! Seriously, WTF?! We don’t have the right to put people in boxes, label them and say, “Stay there, don’t move!” We should be honoring the individual a lot more than we do. We should allow eachother to think for ourselves, and discover what it means to be your own entity, because in truth you are. Me? I personally admire people who live their testimony, rather than speak it! You can yap at me all day, but, if I don’t see you live it in your life when you think no one’s looking, I know…you’re full o’ shit! And, I won’t take it personally, because in truth, it has no impact on my life. I tend to not worship idol gods…
I have compassion for Mother Theresa, she needed a vacation, a sabatical, some rest…like many in those kinds of roles do. Life is hard to see when you’re surrounded by death all the time. And, I have compassion for the athiest, who changed his mind…. He’s allowed to change his mind, as it belongs to him, not the other non-believers, who apparently did fall pray to the institutionalization of a shared philosphy… That’s truly gotta suck. All that fighting against being converted to a religion, only to redefine it and try to convert a sheep that tried to leave the fold. Sad. Truly. Sad.
Without a doubt, the whole is important. There is strength in community, but, not if we worship the leaders outside of ourselves, more than we develop the one within. You cannot ask someone to live a life that you–yourself cannot practice. You need space to grow, change, discover and become… So does everyone else. Respect that. Honor it. Namaste.
Love Peace Happiness N One,