Tag Archives: greek culture

The Freedom of Failure

Failure can be disappointing, but only because we have the blinders of human life on and can’t see the bigger picture. When I was a member of a religious organization, I truly wanted to share the love of God and spiritual understanding with others, and believed it was best done through the ranking set up within the church institution. So, I applied, twice, to become a teacher of Christian Science, but was not approved of. I looked like a failure. Astonishingly, I didn’t break down and cry. In fact, there was an inner confidence that I was supposed to learn something through the experience. But it took me years to see freedom instead of failure.

When the public demand for a revision of Mary Baker Eddy’s book, Science and Health was admitted as valid, I did some preliminary research and discovered people who I believed to be qualified to do the revision work, were either opposed or averse to the idea. The leaders of the religious institution that outwardly backs Science and Health exhibited the hard lined attitude similar to a Greek fable about a hound that refuses to let an ox eat a bale of hay, even though the dog can’t eat it himself with the attitude that “If I do not do it, then let no one do it.”

But, I revised Science and Health out of appreciation for the ideas in the book and necessity. Language changes.

During the revision process I naturally noted many ideas in Science and Health pronouncing the importance of sharing spirituality, not in order to promote a religious organization, but to advance the science of Love and Truth. “A special privilege is commissioned in the ministry. How will it be used? The privilege should be used sacredly in the interests of humanity, not of sect.”

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures was not revised because of human disapproval or approval. The work was done from the heart, in gratitude for Mind healing as taught by Mary Baker Eddy.  I read in Science and Health, “Love of spirituality, rather than love of popularity, should stimulate work and progress.” More progress is yet to be made and the hard work will continue, but in this case, I see how failure could be seen as a freedom to move forward without the blinders of one sect’s ideology.

21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

The Cultural Heritage of Spirituality

Guest Article:

This afternoon I tried my hand at making some Greek dolmades. Deliciously simple, they consist of grape leaves filled with a tasty rice mixture. My husband is Greek and loves the little treats; they were naturally a staple food during his childhood. Typically we attempt making them together (we have yet to actually get them right) and I usually play the part of prep chef helping to roll up the dolmades. During this lengthy little process he tells stories of his mom and grandma’s dolmades and other Greek food he loved as a child.

But today, while rolling up my grape leaves treats alone, I started to think of my own family heritage. Cultural values are something that my parents never really talked about. In the short 2 ½ years I have been with my husband I have learned more about Greek values that my parents ever taught me about my own Polish and Danish roots. Maybe this can simply be chalked up to the fact that Northern European descendants don’t have much to brag about besides pasty white legs an extensive history of potato farming, or maybe it is because my parents simply allowed me to build my own culture.

While growing up, my mom was always quick to remind me that God or Love was my true Father-Mother. At first I just took it for granted, along with “drink your milk”. When I was a teenager I became a little more perplexed with the saying, why would she want to pass of her job of mom off to God? Fortunately I trusted both my mom and God, so I never got too confused by it. Now that I am an adult, treating God as my Father-Mother really makes perfect sense. What makes my mom’s marriage work isn’t necessarily what is right for my own, but the building blocks, the building blocks of Love, Trust, and Humor are all there, thoughts given to anyone straight from God.

With God as my Father-Mother I was able to glean my own cultural values and family heritage from everyone I meet throughout life. For example, Mehmet Efendi, a kind elderly personal home chef I worked with while I was a nanny in Istanbul, Turkey, taught me how to make dolmades, and my Uncle Scott taught me the joy of snowboarding.

Cultural heritage is something that can enrich your life or define who you are in a near debilitating manner. If my own parents had insisted I take up the family tradition I would undoubtedly be farming somewhere in Idaho or Eastern Washington. But instead they trusted me to trust God, to travel and to build my own spiritual culture that enriches my life with traditions that mean something to me from all the different loving, good-hearted people I have met in my life.

Family values and cultural values can come to a person from their parents, grandparents, books and a million other places. The key is to let go of traditions that bring us down and grab hold of values and traditions that help to enrich our own lives and those around us.

And as a closer, my dolmades were perfect.

Greek dolmades

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