Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in Uncategorized
I’m watching a television show this week called, “An Idiot Abroad.” It’s an odd and somewhat awkward travel show “hosted” – I use that word loosely – by Karl Pilkington.
In the first three episodes Karl travels to China, India, Israel and Jordan. He visits tourist centers and rural outposts while assigned by the show’s producers to visit The 7 Wonders of the World.
While traveling Karl comments freely on his personal inconveniences. He talks at length about his troublesome circumstances and his feelings.
The producers seem to go to great lengths to expose Karl’s challenges coping with local customs and unfamiliar foods. The show is awkward, funny, informative and a little humbling knowing as much as I fancy myself adventurous, I might react the way Karl does at times.
Karl defines himself as irreligious as he visits several religious centers, chats with religious leaders and visits local religious events.
More than once he says, “What’s the point?”
It’s a fair question.
A Fair Question
While in India Karl visits the Kumbh Mela, described as the largest religious gathering in the world. Ujjainkumbh.com explains, “On the occasion of this pious … pilgrims from India and abroad take bath here and exhibit their religious faith.”
As Karl is exposed to the religious faith of those people his experiences he tries to sort out his feelings about the passion, priorities and peculiarities of the different religious people.
Karl is put off by several of the religious expressions of different people which raises some questions.
How do I, how do you, react to religious people? It’s a complicated question. Most people I know would say something like, “It depends.”
It depends on several factors. Do you prefer the familiar or unfamiliar? Religious or irreligious?
Do familiar people excite you and create a sense of safety and familiarity? Or do religious people trigger your biases and your past wounds?
Are you excited when you encounter unfamiliar people and practices or nervous and suspicious when you encounter unfamiliar people and practices?
Are you put off or are you open-minded? Or, do you only claim to be open-minded until you realize that you’re not?
#mysilentscream: Regardless how you answer those questions, please be honest with yourself.