Knowledge should be shared. At least that’s what I’ve always thought. Surely, if I learn something new, I should spread my newly found truth far and wide.
Last year, when I had my crisis of faith, I read and listened to everything I could regarding the religion I grew up in. And, upon doing so, I felt sad for those living in ignorance so I decided to “educate” them.
I once had an associate that often corrected me when I expressed any opinion. From innocent remarks like mentioning my favorite colors were pink and yellow – “those are typical colors for females to like, perhaps you should reconsider” – to recounting my mishaps in parenting “hm, if I were a parent, I would have done it this way” – this person’s snide commentary often left me feeling small and worthless.
In a similar fashion, my newly discovered knowledge on religions in general and Mormonism specifically often led to unintended criticisms of my family, friends, and associates when they brought up any religious theme. I became that associate the people did not wish to converse with because I denigrated rather than uplifted. People were uncomfortable in my presence and by my writing.
Emily and Andrew have sibling fights daily. Usually they argue over who can play with a particular toy or who can sit/lay next to me or Ben. During these tense moments, I remind them that they are brother and sister. It’s natural to have disagreements but they need not let material things ruin their relationship. Apologies ensue and they return to playing happily together.
I know that some people disagree with me politically and spiritually. I am sure that people also disagree with how I parent. But that’s okay. Letting that get in the way of positive relationships by criticizing another for how they think or feel – rather than discussing a specific idea – is harmful and doesn’t align with my religion of compassion. Basically, I’m letting material ideas get in the way of relationships.
So, I’m sorry. I’m sorry to my parents, friends, and associates for making cruel remarks about their belief systems. I’m sorry for alienating people by assuming their faith is based on falsehoods and that I need to educate them.
I hope that in our world, in which we are ever evolving into people who put aside belief systems to nourish friendships and familial relationships, I can have thoughtful discussions with people about their belief systems. I also hope that forgiveness and a renewal of friendships is possible.