2008 and 2009 were trying years for me and for most Americans. The nation’s economy almost came to a standstill—I know mine did: I lost my position at a company where I had been number one in sales for 18 years in a row… canned by email without a golden parachute!
Nearly crushed financially, my wife and I decided to tough it out. We became independent entrepreneurs. We had to: we faced a home mortgage and two car payments and, like so many others, plenty of other monthly bills. Now was the time to do something fast and somehow work ourselves back to a better situation. Also, we needed to eat!
Starting our recovery by selling bedsheet sets on street corners, we had faith that we would at least earn soup money every day. And we ate a lot of soup until a new opportunity came to us through a Christian couple who invited us to join their network-marketing team.
In my view, getting along with others is best accomplished by understanding as much as possible about them while respecting their religious beliefs.
One group meeting at their home and we were “all in.” By nightfall, that couple became our designated sponsor (network marketing plans are built on hierarchies of people [“sponsors”] who care for and assist the people they bring into the business “down-line” from them) and their up-line sponsor became our direct mentor—two relationships that led to friendship and, at times, an intermingling of our diverse religious beliefs. While they were active Methodists, my wife and I were Jewish and Catholic by upbringing and Scientologists by choice.
Our friendships grew and our business thrived because we worked together as one team. We also worshipped together. They invited us to attend their church services and events, including an outdoor Christmas Eve ceremony, and we always accepted. Because, in my view, getting along with others is best accomplished by understanding as much as possible about them while respecting their religious beliefs, I asked if they would also like to understand and respect ours—the basic tenets of Scientology. After they accepted my invitation, I covered the basic principles and tools that I had learned about building understanding; “the dynamics”—urges toward survival expressed in eight different parts of life—and about postulates (in Scientology, a postulate is defined as a “self-created truth.” A simple example could be deciding, “I want some vanilla ice cream,” and the next thing you know, you’re eating vanilla ice cream!)
I have prayed with and attended religious services with my friends, attended Jewish synagogue services with my wife, and attended Catholic Mass with other friends and family. They, in turn, having learned about the power of postulates from me, understand that my postulates are, in a sense, similar to their acts of prayer.
Late in 2009, another individual joined our ranks. Today, he is my writing mentor, co-author on a book, and arguably my best friend. He has told me that he wishes me to write his biography someday. We speak regularly by phone or texts and, at times, he shares with me his use of the Scientology Ethics technology to help his (Christian ministry) football players perform better on the playing fields, as well as better understand their Bible and live well and set a good example, on and off the gridirons—a collaboration that has helped his team win five major championships.
Though each of us has moved beyond the business relationship that initially brought us together, we remain today not only professionals in our diverse fields of interest and endeavor, but also respectful and interested parties regarding our different religious views and beliefs. We keep our friendships and our religious beliefs intact without a need for chapter and verse, in part, because doing so has helped us get along successfully among all of our connections and with everyone we meet.
We think the world would do well to follow suit.