I began my summer with thoughts that I would read books based on different religions and cultures.
What captures my mind is how all us humans strive for one thing. It is to be welcomed into their world, it is to be loved and feel joyful with their life. By reading different authors from around the world, I can capture this and bring a satisfaction to my ever curious mind.
The first book I read was “Acts of Faith” by Eboo Patel. He is a an intellect that was brought up in America with the torn feelings of being American and Indian. He was also torn between his religion thoughts. He grew up in a Muslim family. His mother would tell him stories and sing songs to him when he was a tiny boy. But as he grew older in the American world, he was a little lost in that department.
When I walk into a bookstore, I usually walk around not looking for anything in particular. I let the books call my name and have that spiritual connection with my books. One early summer day, I walked into the bookstore with thoughts that I wanted to find a book based on a different culture and religion than myself.
There is stood on the bookshelf. A red book, my favorite color! An author named Patel, which comes from India. My eyes grew wide and my ever-thinking brain opened up. I grabbed the book, opened it up like I do to all books and read a passage that stated that he felt like he was lost within his Indian identity being in America. Right there and then, I knew it was the book for me.
So, Mr. Patel grows up between different cultures. The American culture, which is to live free, party, drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes with your teenage friends. On the other side, he had his Indian family that prayed in the morning and at night. His Indian culture was dwindling down and he didn’t know what to do. He ended up tinkering with a catholic community in which he felt briefly connected too. I really adore the fact that Patel actually took a step forward in his life, to experience the catholic religion. He experienced a community that gave. He ended up volunteering for a group home of sorts and he felt angelic about it.
And at the end of his book as he was now in his doctorate program, he connected with Indian Buddhism or Muslim-Buddhism.
Very, very interesting. Interesting because in the end, all we want is peace. That is all he was looking for. That is what all religions teach us. Peace. How to live our lives giving to others and how to control ourselves to live a fully peaceful life.
This really is the whole point as to why I wanted to dive into different cultures and religions. Like I said above, we are all the same.
Patel ended up writing stories on Islam and the Taliban and all that crazy mess. But that was not the reason I read the book. But it was quite interesting to read from the perspective of someone who grew up alongside those men who will kill for the sake of “their God”.
I digress, I loved the book! It lost me a little here and there as at times it got a little to deep into Islam and the Taliban, but when he got back into discussing about himself him trying to find himself, I was glued.
Thank you Patel for writing a great book! It was a great intellectual book, that is unique in a good way!
Now, I am on to reading about the Japanese culture and Buddhism.