Anjali Kumar, an author, adviser, attorney, and professional speaker, delivered a talk on faith for TED, in which she describes her failed attempt to find god, and what she learned in the process about different cultural beliefs.
She begins her talk by telling her audience about the journey that she set out on a few years back. She reveals right away that she failed in her attempt to find god, or a specific belief system that had the answers she was looking for, but that she learned a lot about the significance of cultural differences. Kumar continues to explain her religious background, stating that she was raised with Indian parents who practiced Jainism, but she later attended a Catholic school. This exposure to contrasting beliefs made her hyperaware of how different she was from her peers, and she found that she was spiritually lost.
This uncertainty prompted Kumar to seek out different perspectives on faith, and she exposed herself to more niche communities. These unconventional experiences allowed her to truly open her mind to the practices that surround different faiths around the world, and she developed a deep appreciation for the commonalities they all shared. Almost universally, she found that people were all striving for the same three things: health, happiness, and love. In discovering this, Kumar realized that everyone shares the same desires, and this allowed her to feel closer to the world than ever before, which has greatly inspired her.
Finding Commonalities in Faith
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