Removing the Blinders
Posted by Zenaida
One of the hard things about finding myself on the marginal side of Mormonism is seeing myself in a new, less than flattering light. Sometimes I catch myself thinking things about others that are judgmental or prejudiced, and I wonder how on earth I managed to acquire these views. The idea that people who are not members of the church could not possibly be happy or have good morals and values seems to be a given that lurks beneath the surface of many a smiling Mormon face. Just yesterday, I was speaking with a good friend of mine and she caught herself in assumption that I probably would have made myself not so long ago. I was ready to overlook it because I know where it comes from, but the fact that she caught it and corrected herself gave me hope. I’ve stepped outside the house to walk the grounds and found that the neighborhood is much bigger than I thought, and much friendlier.
I was taken to a local vegetarian restaurant that proclaimed itself to be “Humanese Cuisine,” and I have to admit that I laughed. My snarky comment was not very becoming, and probably a bit rude. I ate my words (and some amazing entrees), and I was introduced to one of the chefs. He is someone who was able to touch my spirit with only his presence. He has chosen a spiritual path that precludes him from using verbal communication, so he uses body language and hand gestures to communicate. His silence and peaceful demeanor are quite stunning. The love he shows for the people around him is amazing. He seems unabashed and humble in the compassion shown for other people.
I really try to take people as they are. Knowing people who do not fit the Mormon mold has made me a better person. I’ve never thought much of it until a friend once asked me, “Where do you find all of these people?” I could only think, it’s because I’m willing to see them, and my world is more colorful and enriched for it.
“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” -Dali Lama