My book The Culture of Goodness is a spiritual memoir that describes my exploration of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in search of a culture of goodness and further describes what that culture consists of, how it functions, and how I finally found it.
As a way of introducing myself, there is a standing joke among my friends: A Jew, a Christian, and a Muslim walked into a Starbucks, but only Sandra Francis entered. The comment alludes not only to my love of all things Starbucks, but also to my affinity for the Abrahamic Faiths. I embrace them all which makes me, in simple terms, a daughter of Abraham.
Over the years I have been at times a practicing Jew, a Quaker and for the past forty years, a Sufi. The wisdom imparted by these traditions has greatly broadened and deepened my awareness of God. I wouldn't have had it any other way.
I take the reader back to my youth and my dismissal of religion as nonsense and my conviction that there was no priest, pastor, reverend, or rabbi who could bring me closer to God and make me a better person. I decided to strike out on my own using only my intelligence and a well-meaning heart to guide the way. As a result, I repeatedly got into trouble. In a moment of despair I cried out to the universe for help, and that help came in the form of a small man from the jungles of Sri Lanka--the last thing I would have expected And this man, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, small in stature, great in faith, seemed to have the antidote for all the poisons circulating in the American system--greed, materialism, egoism, and lack of faith in anything greater than the self Under Bawa's guidance I found my way to a community composed of people from all over the world, and from all races, ethnicities, socio-economic brackets, and religious traditions. He fashioned these individuals into a family and devoted his life to teaching us the wisdom that we would need to be good and do good in a world that has grown increasingly insane.
Given the political and social tensions in America in 2019, I believe this book is timely and may stimulate thought and discussion. In the telling of this story, there is no effort made to preach or to sell anyone anything. My only purpose is to share some extraordinary experiences and lessons in the hope that they will benefit others. As one of my readers expressed it: "I think that people will put down this book and feel, as I did, uplifted and inspired."