Journey Through the Past

Building Love

In New Testament stories, Jesus was a builder. Regardless of what He was building, whether it was physical or theory or guideline, it was intended to work for everyone because He loved everyone equally.

No matter where I went this year, I could hear the struggle and caution in their voices. Do they say, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”?

What do you say when you are not Christian or Jewish or African or any other human raised to believe in a specific religion or cultural tradition? Being free of those restrictions my whole life meant that I could satisfy my own curiosity and become the eternal explorer of all teachings.

I am free from the shackles of rigid dogma and constant reminders to be afraid of a God that is not even an agreed upon entity. I can dive into ] any written documentation, scholarly research and ancient verbal tradition and find the common threads. I benefit from an education taught by many Masters, even if they pre-date Jesus, and those who are here today, like the Dalai Lama and Pope Francis. I have wise friends and family who force me to think and question.

Mostly, my education comes from nature, Earth, the sky, and inner guidance that comes because I learned to listen for It.

This makes me a bad person by certain religious people. In fact, for them, I am a sinner. So is my daughter. When she started a workshop on Chakras, she heard from a complete stranger who demanded she stop, because the Bible says there are no such things as chakras.

My husband and I work constantly. Because we work all the time, we rarely go out to dinner, or the movies and even more rare is going anywhere just the two of us. A few days ago, we managed to escape for dinner out. Our waiter was a tall, robust, jolly African American young man with long dreads tied back and a ready smile. I was thinking we would eat and run because I was tired and not feeling relaxed. In fact, I’ve been stressing about things and my habit is to hold it all in until I burst over something small.

Our waiter was a gift. He was absolutely tuned into my mood and everything he said or did made me laugh. He was attentive, gentle, funny, fair, told us stories when he felt we were open to listening (we were), and we even ordered dessert, which he intuitively knew we would share like a couple. We left an enormous tip and as we were leaving, my husband shook his hand and thanked him for a fabulous dinner. I shook his hand too, because he brought so much joy when I needed it.

I could feel the eyes of other customers on us. We live in an area that is still mostly Republican and conservative. We moved out of a neighborhood where most of the homeowners were Trump supporters. When Bernie Sanders supporters came through the neighborhood last year on a frightfully cold winter day, they told us that my husband and I were the only house out of 90 who answered the door and welcomed them inside.

Build Something That Works for Everyone

My career is dedicated to making websites and software applications work for all people, including those with special needs. In my field, empathy helps me perform my job. It is important to me to help a company build something that works for everyone. I can’t imagine any other goal. You might be surprised to learn that most companies never consider building a product or providing a service that doesn’t discriminate against someone somewhere. It’s easy to stop caring.

It’s easy to make assumptions. Easy to pass judgement. Easy to dismiss what we dislike, even if we dislike something without knowing the facts or considering the motivation for that choice. It’s easy to get away with bullying, violence, bigotry, hatred and arrogance and far, far more difficult to live with integrity. Forgiveness? That is the hardest choice of all.

It is also taught by the person some claim was sent here by God to save humanity. In New Testament stories, Jesus was a builder. Regardless of what He was building, whether it was physical or theory or guideline, it was intended to work for everyone because He loved everyone equally.

Which is why I say, “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”. I don’t assume everyone is Christian. I am not a practicing one, although I was baptized when I was 19 years old. I am simply a compassionate person choosing to live with integrity and honesty.