Opening Minds to Open Hearts: that's the motto of Hazelnut Connection. Why?
We are inclined to expect everyone to be pretty much like us--same religion, same values, same way of thinking. When we meet people who are really different from us, it's hard even to understand them, much less appreciate and respect them. All kinds of prejudice can kick in, which can grow into hatred and lead to the kind of wars we see around the world. Most of us can't bring about world peace, but we can work on our own fears and ignorance about people who are really different from us.
Ignorance can close our hearts and keep us caught up in the sound and fury around us. But we don't have to cooperate with the chaos. If we are lucky enough to find other kinds of people interesting we can open ourselves to the world around us. Asking questions is a good start.
Here are some that HC finds most interesting. Why does religion seem to bring out the best and worst in people? What do people who don't practice any religion do? Is it possible to have no religion at all. What about being spiritual but not religious? What values compete with religion? How do religions shape their societies? Does practicing a religion make you a good person? How do we judge between religions?
Are all religions the same? Is it enough just to believe something, whatever it is? Why are the fights between people who practice the same religion so vicious: Protestants and Catholics in the sixteenth century, Sunnis and Shia Muslims, etc.? What is the story of the various religions? What kind of behavior do religions recommend to believers? What is the history of my own religion? What about different traditions within my religion? Or in other religions? What are the spiritual traditions of various religions?
There are plenty more questions, but these might give you an idea of your own questions. Hazelnut Connection offers you lots of tools to work on your questions with other people. We hope you enjoy the experience. You almost certainly will open your mind in the process. After a while, you may even feel your heart opening.