This young woman was one of those religious people who try and persuade people to change to their way of thinking. Now, generally, these people are very annoying. There are a group of them who can often be found in Swindon on a Sunday, they shot very loudly that every non-Christian has Hell to look forward to at death and that Muhammad and key figures from other religions aren't as good as Jesus because they didn't die for you and other offensively irritating things like that. In fact, they even use children to hand out their leaflets for them, presumably because people would feel guilty if they didn't take it from a child who's less than ten years old.
But this young woman was nothing like those lunatics, she said, very politely "Hello, would you like to read this small leaflet while you eat? If not that's fine, just if you'd like something to read while you eat, you might like to take this." Since she asked so kindly I agreed to take the leaflet, as I did want something to read, because, as I've established in a previous post, reading is cool.
I read the title which was something like "Have you heard the Truth?" which was kind of off-putting because I then assumed it would be the same kind of arrogant nonsense the Swindon street preachers say, but I read the whole leaflet and it was nothing like that at all. Basically, the leaflet highlighted all the benefits of a religious life style, talking about how it can give you a moral code to live by, a sense of hope about existence and all the other good things about religion.
Now, this leaflet didn't persuade me to change my belief system, but it was by far the best example I've ever seen of that kind of thing. It made me think of the book Utopia by Thomas More (buy it!), where it says that people with beliefs that are very important to them should be able to rationally argue with people if they think it's important that they adopt them. This is what I think happened here, the woman, or the leaflet, wasn't disrespectful of my own beliefs and merely stated the upside of her own. There was a kind of mutual respect, the leaflet wasn't telling me I was wrong to have different beliefs, and at the same time there was nothing in the leaflet that I could take issue with, it wasn't claiming The Bible was absolute truth or anything, just the reasons that somebody might choose to adopt the Christian lifestyle.
This shows perfectly how I think religions should be, a way of living that acknowledges it isn't the only way of living, but respectfully lays out the reasons that you should give it a try.