I grew up in a Catholic family with a mother that took 3 young boys to church every weekend, and a father that had decided to step away from the church for a while. I was baptized, received communion, and was confirmed. I went to religious ed classes from when I was in first grade all the way through high school, and served as an altar boy. I even went to a Jesuit university.
And after all of that – I’m probably less sure of what I believe, want to believe, and know – than I’ve been before. I spent time studying the major religious texts trying to figure out if there was something that made more sense than Catholocism to me, or at least appealed more to me. In the end, I’ve ended up as the type of person that pulls his favorite parts from a few different cultures. Love kugel, lean towards karma, and constantly working on my hospitality toward strangers. But I think Clark’s book, “Abraham’s Children” speaks to something that actually appeals to my upbringing.
The lesson I was taught by my parents – and have carried in my backpack through my existential wanderings – is tolerance. No matter how brilliant I fancy myself to be I was taught that my way, my ideas, and my beliefs were: 1) Not the only ones out there. 2) Not that groundbreaking, and 3) Probably not even right. My parents were both realists, and The Realest.
But tolerance – tolerance is universal. Friends that disagree with me usually find themselves peppered with questions and demands for further explanation. It’s not an argument, and it’s not me trying to prove myself right (usually?) – it’s just me trying to get a grasp of how many other ways of thinking are out there. Because I’m aware of how relatively little perspective I have, when compared to the rest of the world. Unless we’re talking sports, in which case… I apologize in advance. Whatever I said to you – I didn’t really mean it.
To watch The Cycle hosts discuss the topic check out the video below: