defining moments

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    Nov 18, 2013 12:05 AM GMT
    hey guys. i thought it would be interesting to hear some of your most impactful experiences/periods that has shaped the person you are today. i'll go first...

    from 2003-2005, i was a peace corps education volunteer in tanzania. during these years, i had a lot of time for self reflection - evaluating my faith beliefs, priorities, and attitude towards my sexuality. i ended up leaving behind my faith in christianity and discovering an appreciation for agnosticism, deism, and atheism. it was also during this time that i started to become comfortable with my sexuality. i came out for the first time to fellow volunteers and had my first gay relationship with another volunteer. these two realizations/experiences are still an important part of my life today. i am fluid in my faith, tending to alternate between agnosticism and deism. in addition, i continue to embrace my sexuality and am a voice for equality.

    can anyone else define a moment that may have shaped who they are today?
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    Nov 18, 2013 12:15 AM GMT
    Actually, from my profile of all places, and re Israelis and Palestinians of all things - which hopefully won't derail this thread as this subject matter often does:

    "...For those that say we must choose sides, I ask that they identify their own defining moments. The closest I came to choosing a side was during somewhat of a multiple religious observance near the end of my visit, seated at a Friday night shabbos dinner in a penthouse overlooking the golden Dome of the Rock and witnessing the most surreally beautiful and improbable view I'd ever seen. Across from me beneath a darkening purple sky Arabs streamed across the green parklike grounds of the Temple Mount in response to the Islamic Call to Prayer; below, Jews prayed at the Western Wall at the former site of latrines during recent Arab occupation without fear of being pelted from above by stones or garbage as had been the custom before they fled East Jerusalem in 1948; and in the plaza, European Christian pilgrims enjoying modern conveniences and full access to the restored holy sites freely criticized the spectacle before them. It all became startingly clear - where else in the world would such a scene be tolerated, let alone possible? While the Palestinian people should be preserved so should Israel, as should Israel's control of Jerusalem because this scenario would never be possible in any of our lifetimes under Arab sovereignty. It's sad that despite all the intervening concessions things have progressed from bad to worse these past 25 years..."
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    Nov 18, 2013 12:36 AM GMT
    eagermuscle saidActually, from my profile of all places, and re Israelis and Palestinians of all things - which hopefully won't derail this thread as this subject matter often does:

    "...For those that say we must choose sides, I ask that they identify their own defining moments. The closest I came to choosing a side was during somewhat of a multiple religious observance near the end of my visit, seated at a Friday night shabbos dinner in a penthouse overlooking the golden Dome of the Rock and witnessing the most surreally beautiful and improbable view I'd ever seen. Across from me beneath a darkening purple sky Arabs streamed across the green parklike grounds of the Temple Mount in response to the Islamic Call to Prayer; below, Jews prayed at the Western Wall at the former site of latrines during recent Arab occupation without fear of being pelted from above by stones or garbage as had been the custom before they fled East Jerusalem in 1948; and in the plaza, European Christian pilgrims enjoying modern conveniences and full access to the restored holy sites freely criticized the spectacle before them. It all became startingly clear - where else in the world would such a scene be tolerated, let alone possible? While the Palestinian people should be preserved so should Israel, as should Israel's control of Jerusalem because this scenario would never be possible in any of our lifetimes under Arab sovereignty. It's sad that despite all the intervening concessions things have progressed from bad to worse these past 25 years..."


    very moving and i can see how this scene could be a defining moment in your life. while in tanzania, i lived along the coast where there was probably an equal number of christians and islamists. on the one hand, observing the two groups worship two different 'gods,' led me to question why my religion had to be right, which eventually led to my disbelief in christianity. on the other hand, i gained an appreciation and respect for all religions that taught love, gave hope to its followers, and were understanding/respectful of alternative religions. thanks for sharing, eager.
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    Nov 18, 2013 5:10 PM GMT
    thebearerofbadnews saidso you're asking about a self psychological assessment.

    -special ed and kindergarten. first REAL social interactions with people outside of home. wasn't good. became an outcast. folks were fighting and warring with me for no reason.

    -experiences with other people living in the area that i lived in growing up whether it was that wack ass catholic school or my block. also wasn't good. made me realize that i was always going to be an outcast. made me become angry, hostile, bitter and etc towards others.

    i think that from that point, my negative experiences with people shaped who i am today. i'm a fighter as that's what i came up into. unfortunately, took it out on myself and am paying the price for it now. but on the flip side, it's made me strong where i'm still around and haven't given up on life yet.


    sorry to hear about your negative experience, but glad to hear that you have turned those negative experiences into power/strength/motivation.
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    Nov 18, 2013 5:24 PM GMT
    Oh nooos, I forgot to have a defining moment.

    I am now who I was as far back as I remember. There may have been some refining and layering but essentially none of life's experience has changed me.