Last night my coworker (and friend) drove us home from the ferry. Somehow, and I can't recall exactly, we ended up on the subject of religion. It's a well known piece of advice to avoid the subjects of politics and religion when indulging in conversation, but I say to hell with this. If you avoid these powerhouse conversational subjects, how will you ever know if you truly like the people you're keeping time with? Think about it. Almost all moral views and ideologies fall under one or both of these categories.
I want to know if the people I call friends don't agree with gay marriage or think climate change is a myth. Not just because it will allow me insight into who they are as people, but I will understand why our friendship is ultimately doomed. But today is Wordy Wednesday, so why I am I telling you all this? Well, you know how I love my tie ins ...
The word: Liberal
For what doesn't seem like a very exciting or interesting word it sure can whip someone into a frenzy and cause problems. There are those who sneer at the mere mention of someone being liberal, like it's a very bad, dirty thing. All I can assume is the definition has actually gotten lost in the twisted world of politics.
My coworker and I are liberal. As we talked, we exchanged ideas. We discussed. I talked about my thoughts on every single person and animal being interconnected and read her a short story I stumbled across on the intersnacks called The Universe Is Our Egg. She told me about her interest in Buddhism, how she finds religions interesting, and actually enjoys listening to people talk about their faith. We agreed faith is a good thing. A great thing. How it seems to be an essential component of existing in this world, which can be so daunting and cruel, so callous and cold.
There was talk of what we find disconcerting about religion. All the judgement. How people push their beliefs on others. The close-mindedness and unwillingness to accept others' thoughts and opinions. Following religious practices without asking questions. Not being able to listen to what another person has to say.
To be liberal is to accept differing opinions and ways of behaving. To be sympathetic. Compassionate. To try to understand others. You don't have to agree with what others think and feel, you don't have to embrace their morals or beliefs, but you are receptive to what they have to say. Being liberal is having your own thoughts and ideas but still accepting other people have theirs too. If you ask me, the world could use a whole lot more tolerance.
So, I believe we are one and that it is only with love that we should move. What do you believe?