Most world religions and cultures encourage conventional living with high regard.
I mean marriage children and owning your house. Of course, these things appear customary and logical in terms of economics and legacy.
What happens to the people who are unconventional? For example, people who do not want children or marriage or have no interest in owning a home? The same sex marriage issues highlights people in abilities to see beyond conventional. It was only recently that people started to accept gay communities as normal. There are many others who do not fit into a conventional model that’s portrayed as normal.
I am convinced that mature spirituality offers something to all people. The religious world, especially the Christians from my experience, has deep-seated issues with unconventional lifestyles. Many Christians have their understanding of biblical texts and hold ideals and dogmatic theology as a judgment on others.
What is mature spirituality? From my experience, you can see it in people by how they live and the fruit in their lives. For example, how tight they hold on to things and how much joy or peace they are experiencing. Joy and peace are not a result of getting our own way or having some big financial win fall. They result from good spiritual practice that is with you through good and bad. Many are only happy when life does what they want. They get upset when people don’t agree with their world-views. It’s all about the world fitting into their model of normal.
We all need to lighten up and cut people some slack. I am as guilty as anyone for making judgements based on my ideals. When we start to examine ourselves honestly, we see how hard we are on others in our minds. Some display this judgement physically and verbally at others. I am not suggesting utopia, and my thoughts are not beyond anyone’s capabilities. We all can be more accepting of difference.
The truth of the matter is that many people cling to traditions and conventional living out of fear. They can despise othera who don’t have the fear of being different or not matching up to some standard. I am not implying that there is something wrong living conventionally. I am suggesting it is not for everyone and that should be ok too. Likewise, the people living unconventionally should accept and understand people who are living conventionally and not judge them as sheep or boring. WE all should be free to life a life that offers meaning and peace without harsh judgements.
Finally, I know from experience the best way to grow is talk to people who are different to you without judgement. Different political views, religions, cultures, etc. For example, talk to the homeless person. Visit and talk to the dying and terminally ill. Speak to the ninety-year-old in a nursing home or that mentally ill person. Spend time with disabled people. Whatever it takes to shift our thinking. The world needs open-minded, caring people, and as they say, “if you cannot find one be one.”