Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Religious Tolerance Applies to Me, Too. I Must Remember That.
Good morning. It's a rainy day here in the city, and believe me, I when that alarm went off, I just wanted to pull the covers back over my head and go back to sleep. A sick day really would have felt good, but I realize, I cannot take off EVERY time it rains. If I did, I would run out of sick days in no time this spring...and then what? So, here I am. Besides, I always chide my clients when they tell me they didn't come to the program because of the weather. I remind them that 'when they were using drugs, they didn't care WHAT kind of weather they went out in to find that drug". So, how would it look if their counselor took off every time the weather was bad? Sort of hypocritical!!!
This morning the train was delayed and a little more crowded than usual, but I did manage to find a seat. At least that meant I could read on my way in; for some reason, I can't read standing up like I see the others doing. For some reason, when I am standing, nothing I read really sinks in, and I usually end up reading the same pages again. So as I took out one of my new books "Shamanic Egyptian Astrology", I took a glance about and was in awe of all the different beliefs surrounding me. Across the way sat a woman with a clear bag and in it, you could see she was carrying a few "Awake" magazines. Down at the end of the train stood the tall Buddhist monk dressed in traditional Buddhist robes. He was obviously deep in meditation. In the corner seat was one of the other regulars...who always manages to get the same seat. He's a little Hispanic man who spends his ride reading his little prayer book. And next to me sat a young woman reading a tattered little pocket Bible and on the other side, a Jewish woman with her wig with three little books in Hebrew on her lap. Her lips move silently as she rocks back and forth in prayer.
And, I in the middle of these two suddenly felt a little self-conscious with my pagan studies. The truth be told, I thought I was pretty much past that. At work, I am pretty much out in the open, and most of my co-workers are aware that I am a Druid, they know of my pagan beliefs...in fact, many have even shown interest in them, asking if I had info to share. But this morning? I don't know what it was...why I felt like I had to hide. Usually I have no problem taking my books out and reading them...and with many of the same people who were on the train this morning. Perhaps today I paid more attention to what was going on around me.
Religious freedom had been on my mind since my post on "I Am Woman" yesterday so perhaps that is why I was taking more notice. I don't know, but the one thing I do know is that religious freedom DOES include me, too...and my beliefs. I am free to worship as I choose...no matter what the people sitting next to me believe...and to honest? I don't even think these people were actually paying any attention to what I was reading...No one was going to stand up and point, screaming, "She's a witch." It was all just me and allowing my old self-conscious ways to take over. No one but me cared what I was reading.
I'd be interested in hearing if others have been in situations such as this, and how it made you feel.