After a long flight across the ocean, we arrived in Melbourne on Thursday to attend the Parliament of the World’s Religions. We are thrilled to have been invited to attend and to participate at our partner’s event. I entered the day both excited and energized — yet a little apprehensive about interacting directly with people that may or may not agree with an endeavor like Patheos. However, as with most new experiences in life, it is often best to just leap in.
I strive for many things in my life — to be kind … to be accepting of differences … to be open … to be passionate … and to be brave. All of these goals were on my mind as we walked in to the event this morning — sure that an event like this would let me experience at least some of those emotions and might test me on each.
I spent the majority of the day in a booth on the exhibition floor, talking to people about Patheos, explaining our mission, our site and all that we hope to provide to the world. It was both exciting to share and a bit exhausting (that might have been the jet lag as well, hard to tell). I spoke to so many different people — Hindus, Scientologists, Gnostics, Jains, Christians, Zoroastrians, Rastafarians, Sikhs — all with remarkable stories and beliefs and insights. Some who agreed with our mission, some who were perplexed by our intent.
What struck me today, was the passion. The passion that each person felt about attending the event and what it meant to them. The passion that they expressed about their own beliefs. The passion that they had to share their faith and to be heard. The passion with which people were seeking information and trying to make connections.
Everywhere and with every interaction, there was passion.
In many ways, it defines why this is the most important topic in the world — for most people, life is about the passion we feel about our faith.
It reminds me why I care so much to make Patheos a place where passion can be felt and experienced, even on the web …
Here’s to another day filled with people, new experiences and passion.