The other day, a family member and I got into a religious discussion. She brought up the Bible story about people speaking different languages as punishment from God to stop them from building a tower to Heaven. My family member took this story and all of the Bible literally. She thinks this is why we speak different languages. Now I will admit, there are times in my life I have been very religious and other times I have questioned my faith, but even in the times of deepest faith, I explained to her that I looked at this story completely different. I have never taken the Bible literally. Like my Christian uncle, who was a science teacher, I have seen too much evidence the Earth is billions of years old, not thousands. I think we speak different languages, because they are made up and people in different areas made up different ones. I took this story as more of a lesson, that if we did not let our differences keep us apart, like speaking differently and looking different, we could do amazing things, like build a tower to Heaven.
My family member found this interesting and said she would have to think on this more. She explained her grandparents did not have more than 8th grade education, so she was just raised completely different from me and I almost felt a first time acknowledgment from her that maybe they were not right about everything. This got me thinking, that how people interpret this story and others drastically affects our way of life. I have heard people use these kinds of stories to justify racism when I feel they are actually meant to encourage unity instead. Whether you believe it is truly the Word of God, or stories written by men many years ago, I still feel it is a lesson of unity, not division.
I was one of the first people in my family to go to college, so I think a lot of my family do think I was indoctrinated in college. Education is not indoctrination. When I went to college, I did not have professors trying to force their beliefs on me. I had professors and fellow students who had different beliefs and ways of life I saw for myself. The only people I came across in college who were trying to force their beliefs on me, were far right people who stood on the campus screaming at you that you were going to Hell if you did not believe the same as them. Even at my most religious points in life, I feel even Jesus did not try to save the man on the cross next to him until the man asked him to.
I had a professor in college whose parents had an arranged marriage. I always looked at arranged marriage in a horrible judgmental way. This is how it was always presented to me growing up. However, he would speak of his parents and talked about how they truly learned to love each other, and had a better marriage than many people who chose their partner. My professor was not in an arranged marriage and he was not trying to talk us into arranged marriages. I am not in one and do not plan on arranging one for my daughter, he was simply sharing something true and giving us a different perspective. I do not know who the man voted for, what his political beliefs were, although I have my guesses with most college professors. Also, what he spoke about related to what we were learning about in class.
My daughter is 12 and I already feel like I will learn way more from her than she will ever learn from me. I have worked in Senior Living, I have a deep respect for the elderly, and of course I still think the older you get the more experience you have and you have so much knowledge to share. However, the younger have knowledge to share as well. They have different experiences, they are often more open to a different and new way of looking at things. We should all learn from each other more regardless of age, language, political or religious beliefs, where we are from, etc. Together we can do anything, even build a tower to Heaven.
/Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook, or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here. Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor