From the moment you are born, you’re separated by girl or boy.
Based on your gender, you’re separated by blue or pink, action figure or Barbie doll.
Then you grow up to see that even though you may share a doll with another of the same gender, you’re separated by the color of your skin.
From birth everyone is placed into a plethora of categories that create a sense of separation from their counterparts. But there is one category that may separate masses the most.
There are the Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs just to name a few. All of these religions share a common goal: to love one another, bring peace and to give back.
However, many times the desire to prove whose religion is the truer religion overpowers what they’re in place for. By no means am I saying that it is wrong to be a part of any of these religions, by no means at all. What I hope that you retain from this column is that, even though you may not practice it, even though you may not understand it, at least respect another individual’s belief.
The sad truth is that for many people religion is shoved down their throat while they are growing up, and by the time an individual reaches adulthood, they’ve often become close-minded to any other belief.
This does not only happen with religious beliefs; one can becomes close-minded to a particular culture, genre of music or even food just because it is not of the “norm.”
This is where the separation comes into play. One is judged for their actions because it is not “norm” for someone with different beliefs.
For instance, there was recently an incident where a Sikh woman named Balpreet Kaur was involved in cyber-bullying when a young boy took a picture of her and put it on the Internet. The intent of the photo was to shame her because of her nonconventional appearance.
The picture went viral and received a lot of negative comments. Kaur responded by explaining that she is forbidden from altering her body, as it is considered a sacred gift from God.
She then went to add that, “The overarching principal is this body is a tool for service.”
Another example would be the sheer separation of individuals who create subcultures within a given religion. For instance, with Christianity there are, among many others, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists and Methodists. Then there are the Hindus, who are divided by Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, Smartism and so forth. Same religion, just slightly different beliefs that again create a sense of separation.
Growing up in a Christian church I never felt the need to learn about anything else or even think about someone else’s beliefs, because no matter what, “MY belief was right, and everyone else’s was wrong.”
Boy, was I wrong for being so arrogant!
Or was it even my fault being that Christianity was all I knew? It took many life experiences to understand that we all have to respect others’ beliefs because, just like someone’s belief is foreign to me, I had to remember mine too is foreign to them.
According to factmonster.com, there are 2.1 billion Christians, 1.5 billion Muslims, 900 million Hindus and 376 millions Buddhists. All those people are separated by one thing: their beliefs.
However, at the end of the day, religion was meant to bring people together. Unfortunately that’ll never happen if we continue to create barriers of separation.
Campus editor Erina Love is a senior mass communication major from Detroit.