My gorgeous wife and I were thrilled to be part of our friend’s wedding on the weekend. She is Sikh so the ceremony and formalities were very different to the western ones we are used to.
- Your head must be covered (and there are bandana’s at the door if you need)
- You must leave your shoes at the door (most people had bare feet)
- It is the bride who waits at the temple for the groom to arrive (and yes, he was late!)
- The temple reserves the pride of place for the holy scriptures (that’s it under the pink cover that the holy man is reading from)
- The groom walks around the holy centrepiece connected to his bride by a long red cloth and she follows behind him. (This was done five times during the ceremony)
It is by experiencing different lifestyles and cultures that we remove our ignorance and fear. We get to have an appreciation of what is important to others and understand who they truly are. You may not agree with their choices or wish to make them yourself, but you get to understand them more.
There is a lot of fear in the world, fear of lifestyles, culture and different life choices, a strong fear of people who are “different” to us.
We would make great progress in eliminating those fears simply by spending time with those people. Not judging them by OUR standards but learning what are THEIR standards. We may be surprised at how similar they are to our own.
The same can be said with that person in the workplace who you just don’t understand. What can you do to understand them better? Maybe their approach is not wrong, just different.
There is a lot to be said for getting to know someone and understanding that their way is not right, not wrong, it’s just different.