Thursday, September 8, 2011


This post is probably out of context with the rest of my blog but it is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately while studying here and being in the old city.

Today, we had a class that was on looking past the Islam stereotypes and being aware of peoples differences.  It was extremely interesting to see how confused the class was.  They were very confused as to the language to not be politically incorrect and how to be sensitive and aware of other people without offending them.  It occured to me sitting there that the reason this is so difficult is because most of our generation does not practice this in their everyday lives.  We spend endless hours in history class learning about the mistreatment of the black peole in the south.  This is not to say that those events were not horrible or irrelevant, but I am saying that they are wasted on our youth.  These kids may understand that those events were awful and that the abuse that they went through was wrong.  Yet, these same kids turn around and say things like "stupid asian" or ostricize the hispanic kids at their school and make crude jokes about them.  These same kids can't hear the other side of a political argument, saying that President Bush was an "idiot" or that all democrats are "retarded."  These kids say that religion is "controlling and for foolish blind, followers" or that those without it are going to burn in hell forever and ever.  These kids make fun of the gay kid at school because they believe it to be wrong or unnatural or creepy; they also yell at the people who are for traditional marriage; they push their lifestyle onto people that are uncomfortable by it.  What I'm saying is basically this:  our "culture" doesn't listen to other people.  I know that I have definately been ignorant in the past and still am.  I have said things or thought things that are not correct, and more importantly, not kind.  Throughout every class I have the following concept flowing through my mind:

27 ¶ But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

I am proud of my beliefs and believe them to be correct and my daily practices to be good.  But, I am learning everyday that they way other people think, worship, and live are also correct.  My goal in being over in the holy land is to seek the truth and good from these cultures and incorporate them into my own way of daily living.  I would encourage you all to do the same because we can find truth all around us.


Catherine said...

Love this post, Leslie! Especially love the "Find truth all around us". A lot of good DOES surround us, we just have to look for it in everyone and everything! Sounds like you are having a wonderful experience in Jerusalem!

Shill and Company said...

Beautifully said Leslie. I couldn't agree with you more. It's all about love, respect, tolerance and understanding. Thank you for sharing your insight. I love you.

Ryceejo said...

Thanks for this post, Leslie! I love reading what you are learning over in the holy land. What an awesome perspective. I pray every night that the people I will teach on my mission and encounter for the rest of my life will have their hearts softened and will LISTEN.

Jana said...

What an inspiring post. I think you are so correct. You have definitely made me critique myself and the way I sometimes think and act. Thanks Leslie! :)