I have told my daughter, on many occasions, that if I have taught her one thing in this life, passed along just one attribute that I aspire to, it is tolerance . The 'Live and Let Live' thing. The understanding that we are all one. Seeing the inherent goodness in all of humanity. Accepting that there is more than one way to connect with God (whatever 'God' is for each of us.) If I have taught her that, then I will leave this planet in peace when my time comes.
I think she gets it. No, I know she gets it! My joy, and my peace, is knowing that this understanding will be passed along to my little Aidan, with or without me. Not that I'm the greatest mother (who is?!) but it feels good to know I did something right!
I gave up religion more than forty years ago. I remember well the 'moment of decision' (though I'm sure it came about after much contemplation.) Crossing an intersection of a busy road and saying Enough! Enough! After crossing that intersection, is when the real journey began and continues still, and will, I hope, until my last breath.
So many books. Some wonderful and life changing. Others not so much. And yet a few more went into the garbage can! We read. We learn. We take away that which resonates with our hearts and souls, and let go of the rest.
I have studied most religions and...I think I've found the problem! Most (well, at least the 'biggies') espouse to the theory that 'their way is the right way - the only way' and if you don't follow 'their way' you will burn in hell. Such hogwash! I have little time (or, dare I say, tolerance) for 'organized' religion, and the 'holier than thou' stuff. It is soul deflating and dis-empowering. At least to me. I know some people find strength in it, and that's OK. This is about tolerance, right?
One book I read is called 'What God Wants' by Neale Donald Walsch. First page - blank! Second page - blank! Third page - one word...'Nothing'! God wants nothing! Why would God want anything? S(He) is God, for God's sake! And if we are indeed 'God's children' like all the 'big books' say, then what would God, as our 'parent' want for us? There are words in a children's song by Raffi that I think just about sums it up - 'A song in my heart...food in my belly...and love in my family...'
And we are all 'family' in the grand scheme of things. A lot of us just haven't got that yet. Dare I say, I must have faith?! Faith that someday we will 'get it'! All be it kicking and screaming. And through tragedy, despair, and heartache, such as the events of this past weekend, we come to question 'why?' and then to question 'what can I do to change it?' Finding those answers is, and has unfortunately been for millennia, humanity's task.
|My beautiful grandson!|