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one + one + one = one

During spring, all of the world’s major religions have a significant holiday on their calendar, and each one has its own inspirational origin story. When the topic of religion divides us, as it so often does, I admit to a skepticism that so-called, self-proclaimed practitioners are veering away from the foundational spiritual messages they purport to adhere to and are, instead, drifting into their particular administrative, dogmatic messages.

We are all so much more alike that different. We really are. Regardless of who you love, you just want love in your life. Regardless of what you eat, you need to be fed. No matter what you wear, you need to be protected from the elements. And no matter what music moves you, you need to dance.

Here are some of the celebrations of spring, along with the respective religious group that generally practices it and the percentage of the world’s population they encompass. Interesting, yes, but more important, I draw your attention to the short list of disciplines/practices/meditations associated with each celebration – the key reasons for practicing alone or for celebrating together, or both.

  • Lent and Easter (Christian, 31.5%) – sacrifice, self-discipline, the defeat of death and the hope of salvation

  • Passover (Jewish, 0.2%) – liberation, suffering, perseverance and faith

  • Ramadan (Muslim, 23.2%) – self-discipline, spiritual growth, deepening of empathy and faith

  • Holi (Hindu, 15%) – triumph of good over evil, eternal love of Radha and Krishna, joyfulness

  • Wesak (Buddhist, 7.1%) – reduce selfishness and maliciousness, try to gain enlightenment

There are many other religious practices in the world, and many people (16.3%) are non-religious but I would bet they celebrate spring in their own way, too.

Spring is a time of renewal. It’s a sign – it’s all the signs – of life. It’s faith, it’s hope, it’s growth and triumph. We each cherish our own life, and we cherish the lives of those we love. Look at what that list of disciplines/practices/meditations has in common. One way or another, any of us seeking a deeper understanding of our spiritual side can probably relate to anyone else’s list. Like I said, no matter what music moves you, you need to dance. And we can all dance together, and that is joyful.

May you celebrate the spirit that moves you. May you tap into the life spirit that rises in spring. And, most important to me, may you recognize yourself in others. You + me + she + he + they = one.


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