+

Here's what happens when a group of Jews and Muslims gathered for the most basic gesture of faith.

What they're doing is common. How they're doing it is exceptional.

A group of people gathered before sunrise on a beach in Los Angeles. They laid blankets and rugs on the sand, and with the tumble of the ocean at their backs, they joined together to begin a familiar ritual: prayer.

But this wasn't just any prayer group. The small and faithful bunch included both Muslims and Jews. And this was the first of five stops on a citywide "prayer crawl." In the video of this epic gathering, they describe why they came together and what they hoped to accomplish. Take a look:

What was so significant about Muslims and Jews praying together?

For starters, group prayer usually only involves people of the same faith. Then there's the who. This gathering confronts the specific, pervasive narrative of Muslims and Jews not getting along, revealing the possibilities beyond just "getting along" in the process. When these prayer participants were in it for the first time, they found deeper meaning in the experience than they could have imagined.


All images via NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change.

They felt they were a part of something bigger than their own faiths.

They were challenged in unexpected and transformative ways.

"Allahu Akbar" means "god is great," which — surprise — a lot of people believe. Even non-Muslims.

There were "aha" moments.

Some even found what's been missing from their own prayer.

But this wasn't just about bettering themselves. It was about building community to better the world. It was about spreading a message of peace.

And clearly their message resonated with more than that small cohort on the beach.

Just as they hoped, the group grew as the day went on.

And under the glow of the moon, they concluded their prayer expedition with, well, a prayer:

"Grant us courage to walk this righteous path, praying side-by-side and yearning together for peace."

Interfaith alliances aren't anything new, but to see followers of different faiths practicing together is kind of revolutionary.

What if every person of faith were to do the same? How might the world be different? Would it be kinder and capable of more than basic tolerance? Because that's a future worth praying (and fighting) for.

Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash

Some cries for help can be hard to discern.

“I’m fine.”

How easily these two words slip from our mouths, often when nothing could be further from the truth. Sometimes, it feels safer to hide our true feelings, lest someone make a judgment or have a negative reaction. Other times, it’s a social rule instilled in childhood, perhaps even through punishment. Or maybe denying is the only way to combat overwhelm—if we ignore it all long enough, things will eventually get better anyway.

At the end of the day … it’s all about avoiding further pain, isn’t it?

But this denial can lead to even more suffering—not only emotionally, but physically as well. Everything from stiff muscles, to migraines, to digestive issues can stem from suppressing emotions.

Keep ReadingShow less

'Macho Man' Randy Savage during a 1992 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show

A surprisingly wholesome video clip of the late iconic professional wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage is going viral for the surprisingly vulnerable answer he gave when asked if he ever cries.

The 1992 interview with Arsenio Hall began with Hall joking that Save's "middle name is macho," and asking if he ever cried. If you're not familiar with professional wrestling in the 1980's and early 90's it was common for the biggest names of the day: Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Ultimate Warrior, Mr. Perfect, and, of course, Macho Man, to take on personas that often embodied what we might now call "toxic masculinity." Many of them were after all what they call "heels," in wrestling circles, aka the bad guys.

So, it was pretty surprising to see the downright deep and wholesome response Savage gave to Hall without hesitation.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

How breastfeeding actually works is seriously awe-inspiring

Let's take a moment to marvel at this miraculous process.

A viral video shows what's happening beneath the surface when a baby breastfeeds.

Let me start by saying I don't care whether you breastfeed or not. Everyone's circumstances are different, no one needs to explain why they did or didn't breastfeed their babies and we'd all be better off with far fewer judgments across the baby-feeding spectrum.

With that disclaimer out of the way, can we at least all agree that breastfeeding is freaking awesome?

I mean, the whole biological process of growing an entire human practically from scratch is mind-blowing all by itself. But the fact that our bodies then create food to feed that human, with a whole system for how and when that food gets made and released, is just so cool.

Keep ReadingShow less