open-mindedness: we are all the same

word of month character

Over the past couple of weeks I have used an artistic symbol for tolerance when discussing the word open-mindedness.  In reality tolerance is not one of my favorite words.  To me it sounds or feels like we are just putting up with something, while not really having respect for the rights of the other person to think or do things in a manner that is right for them. 

In my studies of both religious and secular teachings, of people from all walks of life, it just amazes me how all of them (that I know of) teach much the same things about how to treat each other and how to be successful in life.  Their cultures may be different, their traditions may be different but the bottom line values, ethics and morals are the same. 

One of the subjects that I enjoy studying is peace, both personal and community.  The teachings of all that I have reviewed all come down to some very simple things.  When we mix with others who think differently or express ideas differently it enriches our own beliefs and strengthens our own respect for humans and life.  I once thought about writing a book about how different and yet how much we are the same. 

Here is a challenge for you.  Find someone to tell you how they celebrate holidays or about their traditions, challenges, concerns of the world.  Listen deeply and share your own traditions and ideas with them.   See what you learn and how you feel.