Each one of us design a path to happiness with the aid of our parents and the majority rule of our country. In the United States, rules of thumb mark what we all should want. Want to be beautiful woman in the United States? Get long, flowing hair — regardless if your ethnicity naturally allows. Want to be involved in sports? Go for cheerleading or the dance team. Want to find religion? Become acquainted with God and his long-haired son, Jesus. But what if I want to have short hair, be on the lacrosse team, and mediate in a quite room with the music of Buddhist monks humming in my ears?
And quite frankly, that is exactly what I am doing.
I kept my actions hidden from my mother, a devout Christian, for months. Although there are many Christians who understand the variance of religions in the world and there isn’t one path to The Light, there are quite a few who simply . . . don’t. My mother happens to be one of the “don’ts.” Here she is whimpering with my journal in her hand and unable to comprehend why her daughter likes to divert from the majority.
“Love, why don’t you understand? I’m trying to help you! I love you! The Good Book is called the Good Book for a reason. It guides to a path of beauty and completion of the soul. He is love. He made love. And you’re short hair and that aggressive sport you play . . . God, what’s happening to my daughter? ” She begins to cry. My heart wrenches at the sight.
But I still protest.
“Mother, have you ever thought that who showed you the road to completion may not be the same person needed to show me? Must I follow the very steps or mimic the journey you had? What if I want to see the world in a view different than the majority’s? What if I want to see life not through his word, but through one of my own tinted in the guidance of another guide? I don’t want to be evil. I just don’t want to be your kind of good.” I reach out for her hand and grasp it.
“I don’t – I don’t understand,” She chokes through her tears.
“There are other paths. You have your own. I shall have my own. I will not love you less, and hopefully you won’t love me less. We may follow the words of different guides, but doesn’t mean I hate anyone who chooses another path. Differences make the world go round, despite what those WallStreet movies say,” I chuckle lightly “And just because I have short hair and play a sport where part of the point is to knock opponents down with a stick for a ball, I doesn’t mean something is happening to me — evil that is. I’m growing into my own skin. And honestly, it fits quite nice on me.” Grinning, I focus my eyes on her. She has her head down but slowly raises it to look me in the eye.
She wipes the tears from her eyes and wraps her arms around me in a secure embrace. “I love you. I truly do. I swear to God, I don’t understand you sometimes, but I love you. I want to support you in anyway I can. As they say in my religion, ‘treat others the way you want to be treated.’ Don’t they say it on your religion too?”
I hug her back. “Indeed they do, Mother. Indeed they do.”
We embrace for a while, rocking each other side-to-side as if we are coasting with the tides of life, crashing into one another every once-in-awhile.