As far back as I can remember I've been searching for something. An atmosphere of unity and oneness where people accept each other and celebrate their individuality while appreciating the diversity that we, as human beings, obviously possess. In the waning days before the new millennium, I discovered the interfaith seminary. A truly remarkable place where people of all backgrounds, races, religions and personal preferences would meet, share their most intimate feelings and welcome each other's thoughts with understanding and respect. It was here I would find the comfort I had been longing for and the path that would inspire me to create Many Paths © - a line of jewelry that not only allows the wearer an opportunity to proclaim his or her understanding of the need for universal interconnectedness, but perhaps gives those who view it the opportunity to gain an understanding as well. The chance to wear something that offends no one and embraces everyone; to not diminish any one path, but instead appreciate how our differences make our world so much more beautiful.

 

We, as a species, seem to appreciate variety in almost all aspects of nature, from the smallest, crawling creatures to the universe and beyond. Imagine a world in which every tree is a Sycamore tree. A Sycamore is truly beautiful but, clearly, the world is a more beautiful place because not every tree is a Sycamore tree. Yet, for some reason, this diversity within our own species has proven to be such a challenge. Imagine what we can accomplish if we pooled all our resources together -- intellectual, financial, natural and creative. Instead of focusing on military and political goals, could we possibly eliminate homelessness, starvation and disease? How dare we not try? I believe this begins not with the element of tolerance, but with an understanding and appreciation of our individualities. Once everyone feels unthreatened and comfortable, anything becomes possible.

 

It is my hope that the love and inclusivity that these creations were designed to bring to light, shine from and through all those who wear them.

 

Namaste,


Jeff Haas