What is Religion

Today I got into a rather interesting dialog with someone about religion.  Now I know some will say that is a dangerous topic to have since most people have very strong feelings about their religious denomination or tradition.  The interesting thing was that we both came from very different backgrounds and it was a lively discussion.

One of the points that we talked about was whether or not people should question their faith.  Now I am not trying to argue that there is or is not a God (or whatever word you like to use).  That is a personal thing and I respect whatever one believes.  What I was talking about was questioning the rules and norms of a given faith tradition.  Next week will be lent in some Christian traditions depending on what calendar you follow.  With that custom there are a number of things that people will do during that time period.  I am not going to go into all of those customs here since it would require a lot more time than I have to create this post.

What I question is why people do those traditions.  One I will mention is the tradition of giving up something for lent.  Now I have known people who would give up alcohol or smoking for lent.  Once lent was over with they were back to smoking or drinking as they were before.  Nothing changed in their lives after the time period.  There was no growth in the lives of these people.  I feel that as a person I need to continue to grow as a person.  That should apply in our faith or spiritual life.  If we do something in a faith tradition why don’t we ask what we will be getting out of this action.  For some they go year after year going through movements of a faith tradition and nothing happens.

So as a more mature person I need to continue to explore and challenge why I do things and what am I doing to grow.

Yuck Valentines

Okay we are going to be celebrating another holiday that is not the favorite of mine.  Now this holiday is all about love people say.  The interesting things that there was a real Saint Valentine and this saint has nothing to do with love.

I find this holiday to be interesting in that people go out of their way this day to express love to another person.  For some this is the only day they are romantic.  I find that interesting because if you are in a relationship or dating romance should be a regular part of the relationship.  It should not be left to one time a year.  If you only wait till this one day the relationship is doomed to end.

Church and Politics

I was looking at the front page of the local paper and there was an article about the local church and the recent issue of the government requiring birth control to be covered by insurance plans.  Now I am annoyed that people can take things and try to force religion on others.

Now I am a religious person in that I do have a spirituality.  What I get annoyed is when  church or denomination says you can’t do this or that because it says in the bible or the church says so.  I was taught growing up that my decisions are based on free will.  So if that is the case then why is the church saying I can’t do something.  How is it free will?

Now back to the issue of birth control and insurance coverage. Just because an insurance company is told they need cover it does not mean that someone has to use it.  Just because there is a bowl of condoms in school clinic does not mean the kids have to pick some up.  I think it is important that people have options.  They should have the option to have sex and they should have the option to avoid bringing an unwanted or unexpected child.

Why is the church so hot and bothered about this issue?  Personally I think the reason they want to get hot and bothered about this issue is because they don’t have the control over the people they used to have.  I personally don’t need someone controlling my life.

People come into our lives for a reason

The title of today’s blog comes from a line in the show Wicked.  Now it is also quoted in a number of other writings.  Philosophers have argued this point.  Religious people will say that God brings people into our lives.  Well whatever position you want to take I feel that every person that comes into our life did so for a reason.

Now as I was reflecting on this idea today I thought of a lot of people I don’t talk to or correspond in some way with.  Some I lost contact information and have no idea where they are in this world of ours.  I am sure they are out there somewhere and hopefully alive and safe.  I after all don’t want to wish bad on people because I believe what goes around comes around.  There are some who I knew through work relationships and we in my life for a period of time.  I know there are some who I know from this part of my life that will probably say good thing I don’t know where they are they don’t want to talk to me anyway.

There are those who touch our lives through dating situations and I think that group is better left alone in this conversation.  Now some of this group I wish I still was in contact and things could have been different. Some of this group I may have learned a lot from.

I could keep going on the list but one thing for sure is I have learned from all these people.  Some have challenged me in different ways.  Some of those challenges resulted in me becoming a better person.  Some have ended in stalemate or arguments.  Some I do wish were different.  Either way I know that I carry a part of them in me.

I am hoping that each person who has crossed my path in this life was changed a little by the encounter and that it was for the better.  I know that each person who crosses my path does that for me.  Sometimes I realize it right away and other times it takes a little time.

Look at your life and see who has crossed yours?

Life changes

Tonight I get to see Wicked and I am so looking forward to it.  I don’t know if you are familiar with it but it is like the story before the Wizard of Oz.  I love the music and can’t wait to see it.  Now it made me think how life is a thin thread that we travel.

It is amazing how sometimes just a single choice can have a major change in our life.  Think about it what if you get in a car and drive drunk just once and you get stopped or end up in an accident.  That would change your life in major way.  What if you happen to take some some money from your job and get caught and end up in jail or fired.  What if you say something to someone that results in them dropping you as a friend.

We have lots of decisions in our life that could have a major impact in our life.  Now I am not saying that your decision to have oatmeal instead of eggs for breakfast will have a major impact on your life but there are other things that will.  I think that if we slowed down and looked at life a little closer more positive things will happen in our life.

What makes it a sport?

Today I attended a rugby game.  I don’t know all the rules but it is interesting to watch.  I do that with some sports like hockey and of course rugby.  It made me think of all the sports I have seen and heard of in my life. The question that came to mind is what makes a sport a sport?

Think about it there are sports like fencing which at one time was a way of survival and today we call it a sport.  There are things like curling that makes me wonder who was the one who started that sport and what was he thinking about?  Now not all sports are well known or have a large following.  Some we may find boring or strange.  I find Nascar to be a strange sport but I know people who will sit in front of  television and watch it for hours.  Some sports like golf are fun to play but to watch no much fun.

Still gets back to my original question is what makes a sport a sport?

How risky

I know I have written blogs about relationships in the past and have explored lots of different facets of relationships but it now makes me wonder why fate can be so cruel.  Now I am not saying that our relationships are all left to the fates or chance.  I do believe that every person who comes into our lives does so for a reason.

Now some will come into our lives to changes us into a totally different person and still others come into our lives to give us options of where our path should go.  Those kinds of relationships can be the most challenging.  That is because they may both look to be leading to that next growth point on our journey in this life.  They both may seem to be pointing us to where we want to go.  They may both be pointing us down the road of life that will make us happy.  The thing is that we don’t know where each will take us and we don’t know if it is the right or wrong way.  Now sometimes we can choose a path and find that it is wrong leave that and go back to where we had the choice and take the other path.  Now with relationships that is not as easy.  Once we have passed up that choice other people move on and we can’t go back.

So then which is the path to take.  For me I am at those crossroads and I now have a choice.  I think both might be taking me down a road I am ready to travel.  They both seem to be an adventure and will make me happy.  So which to choose maybe its time to close my eyes and leap.

Time is running out

I don’t know how many of you know that the Mayan Calendar says that this year will be the end of the year.  With that in mind I decided to think about what would I want to get done this year.

Now if the world was coming to the end there would not be a bucket list.  It would be things that are important to me that I would want to do.  I would want to enjoy the artistic things in the world like theater and museums.  So I would want to see some of the greatest museums out there I have not been to yet.  I would want to see the amazing shows on broadway and other shows out there.

I would want to spend time with people who are important to me in my life at this point. I would also want to spend more time with each of those people.

A different perspective

I was watching the SAG awards tonight and was excited that one of my favorite movies won several awards.  In the acceptance speak for one of them the speaker talked about how sexism and racism needs to be addressed.

Now for some they may think that this is not important in today’s world.  Reality is that there is still sexism and racism in this world.  Now for some who are not a person of color or who is not a woman this does not make sense.  As a person of color to me this statement makes perfect sense.  I have at different times in my life I have experienced racism. Now it has not been to the extent of those of the 60’s during the civil rights era but still I have experienced it.

I have been told that I should not speak Spanish or eat certain foods as a kid.  In college I was told by someone that I should act a certain way to be accepted.  Today prejudice takes forms that are not as obvious as this but it still exists.  People are still being singled out for some of their features or how they live.  What makes one way better than the other?  What makes one person better than another?

We need to remember that we are all human beings and that our differences are what make a better world.

People we live with

I have always thought it was interesting how we have a couple of shows that deal with people living together as roommates for a period of time and have lives filmed.  Now I personally could never do that since I like my privacy.  But made me think about roommates I have had over the years.

Now I can’t say that all of them were good situations but they were learning experiences.  For some people they are not able to negotiate with others in a living situation.  After all whether it is family or others we live with it is about negotiating how take care of our living space and what TV channels we watch.  It is giving and taking when we live with other people.