For as long as I can remember I have always been exposed to religions from around the world. My mother was brought up catholic but developed a fascination with other religions as a young adult. This resulted in my childhood being blessed with beliefs of multiple religions. My house has always been ornate with Buddhas, century old Muslim scripts, Tibetan flags, Bibles, and statues of Hindu deities. Whether my mother and I were going to mass at a catholic church or praying with Tibetan monks at the dismantling of a sand Mandela it all seemed the same to me. The thought of people only attending one church would not have made sense. My mother chose to bring me up this way so I could find my own place in religion. However my mom has never herself settled on one religion. Due to my diverse upbringing I too have not settled on one religion. Some may think of this as a curse, I see it as a blessing. To disregard all other cultures and religions in a time where knowledge is so easily obtainable seems ignorant to me. My interest in religion has grown as I have spiritually matured. I began reading books on the teaching of Buddhism this time on my own. I have never understood why my mom has never found her one religion; by the third chapter I had drawn five similarities to catholic doctrine. I cannot imagine how many times my mother has done the same with Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, and Buddhism. I have an even stronger respect for all religions by personally taking interest in someone else’s beliefs.
I have a fifty pound Buddha from a monastery in Galle, Sri Lanka on top of a bookshelf full of catholic prayer books. I have come to realize that the religions of the world all share one similar belief: do unto others what you would have them to unto you. I believe that we should show ubiquitous interest and compassion for other religions because one can never fully love what one does not know. Universal unity is not just about tolerating each other it is about learning to love each other.
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