It's something I kind of always had subconsciously understood, but never actually truly witnessed until my grand-mother's funeral last Saturday. The funeral home had a chapel, and in the chapel stood flag posts depicting every religion of the world.
Sort-of a multi-purpose room/chapel.
It dawned upon me that what mattered is not so much the place where the service occurs. What matters is what's in people's hearts. To each culture their own way of saying goodbye. But then, we're all saying goodbye.
Each culture has its rites, namely birth, the introduction of a human being in a family, a community, a culture; marriage, the union of 2 beings through love, bringing families together; and death, the ultimate rite of passage, bringing the human being into its next plane of existence.
What makes for the divide is the words used, the clothing worn, the gods worshipped, and the traditions observed. In other words, the richness of the diversity of the world. And then, true to the nature of humans evolving, we come to make our own traditions within our families, our friends, and our communities.
As I grow older, and observe the world itself growing older alongside, I often feel like the world, and human evolution, is at a crossroads. Like we're halfway between traditions that were there before the eldest people alive were even born, and a completely new world and human state of mind, with no points of reference to be found anywhere else but in the visions of the future from old sci-fi movies.
And then on one hand, you've got people embracing the concept of putting computer chips inside human bodies, and on the other, we've got more and more parents refusing vaccines for their children, claiming they do more harm than protection.
Halfway between grassroots and space station vacations.
Cultures everywhere are blending, or more like, anyone living in one of the major cities of the world is likely, at some point or another, to pick and choose elements of all the other cultures surrounding them, and make it their own. Figuring out what rings true inside, and what doesn't, and in the midst of all these cultures, finding who we really are.
Such is the core of human culture.
We breathe in life for the first time, and before we breathe it out for the last, well, we spend our time discovering ourselves, as individuals, in a culture, through a community, a family, a society. Our culture defines who we are, or rather, we define ourselves through the many cultures we choose to embrace.
So whether you're goth, punk or rockabilly, embracing practices in paganism, Buddhism or Hinduism, or which ever culture that strikes a chord inside, what matters is that through these, you find yourself and stay true to your heart.