My friend and I were talking to a lady who was hanging her laundry on a clothes line. My friend unhooked a cute tie-dyed cloth and started analyzing the cool pattern on it. Soon she asked the woman what the cloth item was for, she said, "Those are my reusable sanitary napkins". My friend quickly returned the pad to the clothes line.
I lived in Oregon for 18 months. It changed me in many ways. I LOVED the strangeness to the place. I remember leaving Eugene and crying because there was a man wearing a costume and "pray-dancing" on the sidewalk, I was going to miss that (It was common to see such things).
These people taught me so much. Somethings I chose not to adopt into my own life. For example, I like shaving my legs and armpits. I also like wearing a bra (is that too much information?). There are somethings that made a lasting impression on me.
The reason I was in Oregon was because I was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka Mormon). Some towns I was assigned to had a high Christian population, other towns, like Eugene, had very low Christian populations. Someone once told me that Eugene was 50% Atheist, 20% Buddhist, 10% Christian, and rest were Baha'i, and other religions, and a lot of personal/made up religions.
Many hours were spent knocking on peoples doors to try to find people to teach. In towns with high Christian populations we had a lot of doors slammed in our face and people yelling at us. In towns like Eugene people we nice and open. I remember after a long day knocking on doors a man opened his door and invited us in for tea. He gave us some hand warmers and some hot cocoa. He told us he didn't believe in God but that he wanted to make sure we were cared for. On the other hand I had Christians screaming at us, egging us, and being outright inhumane. Hatred is the only word I have. This was the main lesson I learned (with some exceptions of course): That the Atheists were more Christian than the Christians.
Most of the Atheists had a lot of hippieness too them. They were all about LOVE. What was Christ about? LOVE! After centuries of religious wars fought "in the name of Christ", people have lost sight of the entire point of Christs life. He taught us to love, not to hate.
So I've decided to take all the good lessons in life, no matter the source. Truth is truth no matter where it came from. I care for the Earth, I care for people, I care for everyone no matter their belief system. I love the Beetles song "All you Need is Love". It is very true.
I have come closer to Christ because of this new perspective. The more I read the Bible and the Book of Mormon the more I see love. Christians really went wrong somewhere a couple hundred years ago, because of mans ideas and traditions. I hope we can fix that, but it must start in our own individual hearts first.