Walking home at night, I sometimes pop into the evening service of a Russian Orthodox church. Everyone is over 60, wearing black dresses and listening attentively to a priest chant about something very important that I can't understand. On top of that, I don't know what to do half the time (everybody stands, despite the chairs lining the walls), and I worry that I'm offending them with blond, American Presbyterianism. But there is something to be gained by drifting into an unknown spiritual gathering. You may not improve yourself by learning about another religion. You may not achieve enlightenment, either. But you know what never
goes on in churches or temples or synagogues of any kind? Yelling. Nobody yells there. Nobody even gives you a dirty look or tells you that you can't wear leggings with a cropped top (which we all know you can't—even to the gas station
). These are places where people are trying to be the best people they can be—which, at the end of day, is a good place to be.