Be a Citizen of the Earth

Accept diversity and embrace it.

This is not an article about disapproval of religion; in fact, it is the opposite. I hope that one day in a world that is torn apart by cultural and religious differences, that we can all come together and save the planet that we are all so dependent on.

I'm not religious. At all. But religion seriously fascinates me. I took as many classes in University as I could about the history of religion and the impact that it has had on cultures throughout the ages. Let me tell you, pretty much every war that has ever occurred has been over religion or land, and the ones that were started over land most likely began with one leader thinking that his religion was better than the other leaders and that therefore entitled him to that land. It has separated empires, countries, cities and even families. It's completely and utterly fascinating.

I was raised as a protestant in Canada, which pretty much means that I went to Sunday school and learned the Ten Commandments and then stopped going to church forever. Although there are two parts to what I just said, I was raised as a protestant, okay, that part didn't stick. But I also said I was raised in Canada, which I think has a lot to do with my method of thinking as an adult. Well, duh, of course your environment has a lot to do with how you are raised and what you believe in as you grow into an adult. That is what I am trying to get at, I think that my Canadian up bringing (and also the century that I was born in to) has made it so easy for me to have an open mind about religion, a more open mind I think than some people who practice.

I grew up in a middle- to upper-income area in a small city in Southern Canada. Does that make you think of any one religion or skin colour? Depending on where you are in the world, it very well may, but I never saw race or religion or social status. If you wanted to be my friend and show me kindness, I would gladly return the favour. I loved celebrating Christmas at home, and Hanukkah at a friends house, and eating late dinners with my friends who celebrated Ramadan. I have never understood why some people see people of other faiths differently. I do understand that some of this comes from age, the world was a lot less accepting in previous years. Although I think that in some ways the world is just as bad at accepting people now as it was back then. It boggles my mind, some of the ignorance that I still see floating around on social media. OPEN YOUR MINDS AND HEARTS PEOPLE! We are all humans, we are all living on the same planet. 

Sure, I don't subscribe to a certain religious sect, but I would never go as far as to say that I am Atheist. Not at all. In fact I am so interested in religions from around the world that I thoroughly enjoy learning about what they believe and how they teach and why, and then I like to think that I can take the good things, or the things that I really agree with and add them to my way of life, to contribute to making me a better person. 

I really think that more people in the world should try that. Learning about someone else's religion does not mean that you are disgracing your own, or that you ever have to forsake your own beliefs. It only means that in a world that is only becoming more diverse every day you are able to see everyone that you meet for who they are, you won't have to peer at them through a veil of uncertainty or even fear in some cases.

Stop looking at people through disapproving eyes, before you even know them, and start looking at people as people, as fellow citizens of the earth, in a solar system filled with diversity. Especially in a time when the earth needs us all to come together and save it.

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Be a Citizen of the Earth