I was catching up with an old friend from high school, whom I don't see quite often enough, but I love to death. She taught me how to belly dance. I was happy that this time, I was able to pull her away for at least a short couple of hours from her family, only because I know how much she could probably use the break. Usually when we meet up, she's lugging along her two beautiful, but rambunctious daughters. As adorable as they are it's just nice and good to have some solid girl time.
She's in the midst of Ramadan and I'm getting married in two weeks, so we were both talking about our growing families. Despite having known her for years and having grown up with a number of Muslim friends, I realized today that I really don't know much about Islam at all. She too herself has recently dived into learning more about her faith. Islam is a religion that teaches and emphasizes peace--I'm not surprised. Christianity is the same--we believe in peace and love. Muslims lead a Kosher diet (well, more traditional Muslims)--nothing new to me. What I didn't know was that they too believe in Mary . That was the most interesting and new thing I learned today. As a Catholic, Mary is so important in my life. So, as if I didn't already think that the divides we've created amongst ourselves is silly as puddy, this revelation made me further question why it is that many of us seem to think we are so different when we really aren't?
She mentioned to me that she rarely, if ever, discusses religion with others. However, with me, it's never about "religion." We're not having a debate or expressing differences of opinions. We're just talking life. It's the same as when we talk about our families, whether it's about annoying relatives or cherished moments. We are both persons of faith. Our faith gives us strength. We both find prayer meditative. We trust in God. We believe in the same God. Yet, people will look at us two as if we are different people. Obviously, we're not exactly the same--that would be boring--but we're just two people who can relate to similar life experiences, and who share the same values. I see her as like my sister. We're able to speak freely and honestly with each other, because we don't fear what does make us different. Why should we? What is there to be afraid of?
More so when we were talking about our families did I keep laughing at how silly people can be to think we are all so different, just because we come from different cultural and religious backgrounds. I don't want to throw either of us under the bus, and girl talk is sacred, but let me just say that people are people are people.
Maybe people don't talk to their neighbors enough. I find, the more I talk, and the more I listen to others, the more I feel like we're all one ginormous dysfunctional family.
BIG LOVE & HUGS