This week’s photo challenge had me exploring major emotions. Why?
First, my culture is not one culture. I live in a multicultural state and my family is bicultural. The culture where I grew up certainly influences me still. Sometimes the culture of my past clashes with where I am now. The biggest clash is related to religion. Religion is a big part of culture when you grow up in a rural community in the southern part of the United States.
I still have great faith in the Holy Trinity which is largely influenced by my childhood, but I also have come to admire religious leaders of other faiths. I believe there is more than one path to God.
Rabbi Albert L. Lewis said, “Why Tree’s….Why not one prefect tree for the whole earth?” He went on to explain there are oaks and elms, etc. Then he said, “Many trees, the branches all leading to God.” He explained that hate is wrongly engaged in the name of religion for all religions teach, “Honor thy neighbor!”
I love what HH the 14th Dalai Lama said about different religions, “I always believe that it is much better to have a variety of religions, a variety of philosophies, rather than one single religion or philosophy. This is necessary because of the different mental dispositions of each human being. Each religion has certain unique ideas or techniques, and learning about them can only enrich one’s own faith.”
I certainly do not think it is my place to tell you what your path should be. I know Jesus preached love and understanding. I believe that religion is a very personal thing. I think it is important to cultivate a spirit of aloha for all.
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That’s part of what’s so great about living in the States, the endless variety.
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