Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A need for tolerance

I really like my job,  I honestly do, and here are some reasons why:
  • I get paid enough to live comfortably
  • I get benefits
  • I get to hike and explore uncharted territories
  • I have a job that actually has something to do with my major in college
  • I get to work in some of the most beautiful places
  • I get to meet and work with people who are different then me
  • I get to continue to learn while I work (which is great cause I LOVE to learn)

But, alas, a job this great must have some problems...and it does.

There are only 7 people that work with me (my boss, the office manager, my field supervisior, and 4 field technicians [I am one of these]) and we spend A LOT of time together which means that you need to be able to get along with everyone...or else. Lately I have been having a hard time with 2 of my co-workers. They love to give me a hard time because I'm young, I don't have a lot of experience (which mean I don't know anything), and because I am a Mormon.

My co-workers are constantly attacking me because of my religion. They love to make fun of me and criticize what I believe. What's even better is that they claim that they know more about my religion then I do (which is funny considering on of them has never met a Mormon before he met me). it never really bothered me before when people made fun of my religion but it bothers me now...and this made me wonder. Why does it bother me now? Why does it bother me when my co-workers make fun of my religion? And it comes down to one word: TOLERANCE. I expected more from fellow Anthropologist! We ARE Anthropologist! We study people! We learn about them and we try to understand them. So how can you do this job if you don't have tolerance for other people and their beliefs?

In college I read an interesting paper on religion that was written by an atheist. He claimed that religion was "made up" because people needed the stability. Now, please, let me explain. When everything in our life seems to just fall apart, when the whole world seems to be crashing down on us, and we would rather curl up in a ball and die rather then deal with our pain, where do we turn? What do we do? We turn to the one thing that has never failed to be there for us. We turn to religion. We turn to our beliefs. We turn to our paradigms. And why do we turn to them? Because they are always there. They give us stability. They give us something to hold onto. They give us hope and comfort. So even if religion is not real, even if there is no God, religion is still a good thing and people need it. 

So, back to my main problem: my co-workers and their lack of tolerance. Why does it matter what my religion is? My religion should not affect my work relationships with these goobers. My religion does not make me a bad person. my religion does not make me a bad worker. My religion does not make me less of a person and I should not be treated as such. My religion gives me hope; it gives me faith in something more (which is good considering I am such a scientific person); it gives me morals; it gives me standards; it teaches me to be honest, true, and chase; and bottom line, I AM A BETTER PERSON BECAUSE OF IT. If I die and get up to the white pearly gates and I learn that my religion was not the right one, would I regret the way I lived my life? No, NEVER. I am living my life in a good way (I help others, I am honest, I am a hard worker, I am a clean and moral person, etc.), I do not regret it, and I would not change it. I love my religion and all that it has done for me.

So in the end it doesn't matter. I should not be teased or ridiculed because of what I believe or don't believe. Because it does not matter exactly what I believe. I believe it and you don't. So? All that should matter is that I am a better person because of what I believe.

What a sad and pathetic world we live in. We have a great need for tolerance. Not just tolerance of religion, but of ideas, beliefs, and views that we may have. We don't all have to agree on everything but we need to have respect and tolerance for each other. I have my paradigms and you have yours...and that, my friend, is what makes us human.

Monday, February 18, 2008

This is the year of traveling

I am such a nerd. I am constantly watching the Discovery Channel, History Channel, or the Travel Channel in an effort to learn more about the world around me. I have a new goal to see the 7 Wonders of the World along with other amazing sites such as The Great Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, the Statues of Easter Island, Victoria Falls, the Great Barrier Reef, Teotihuacan, and Mt. Vesuvius. If I am ever going to be able to see all of these beautiful places I need to start now. So for Christmas I gave my dad an Egypt travel book as a "hint" to where we should go on our next family vacation. He took the bait and we are going to Egypt for two weeks in November, with a 4 day stop in NYC. Check!! : )

A few weeks ago I was having lunch with one of my college buddies, Syanna, when she told me that she was planning a trip to the UK in May. She asked me if I wanted to go and I could not resist. So in May I will be headed to the UK with a short stop in Washington DC (I figured I should also see some of my own country). 

Along with these two trips I am also going to Canada (in July for a family reunion), Chaco Canyon, Nine mile canyon, Mesa Verde, Zions, Arches National Park, and Bryce Canyon. What a year!!! I am so excited!!!

Me in a nut shell

Introduction to my life: So most of you know where I am now, but I will give you a little background to were I came from. I was born and raised in southern CA. I am the only (and thus, favorite) daughter of Rick and Arlene Neilson. I have two awesome brothers (Ryan and Luke) and a beautiful sister-in-law (Missy). 

After graduating from Capistrano Valley High School I moved to Provo, UT, where I attended BYU. After 4 hard years of work (homework, dating, papers, presentation, boyfriends, digging in the desert, etc. ) I graduated with a Bachelors in Anthropology emphasizing Archaeology. From April 2007 - September 2007, I lived in St. George, UT, digging up archaeological sites for OPA (Office of Public Archaeology). After finishing in St. George, I got a job with P-III Associates in Salt Lake City, UT. 

My life now: I currently live in a cute house on the bench in Salt Lake City overlooking downtown. I have two housemates which are a lot of fun. My job is hard but I continue to work at it. Hopefully in a few years I will be off to Graduate School (hopefully in Evolutionary Biology). 

Ok ok...I will now blog

I have finally decided to make a blog and share my life with all of you. 

I can't promise that I will write often (due to work) but I will try.