Despite the fact that I usually do not discuss Jewish topics around some of my relatives, I am still perceived as being "so religious", and my actions are sometimes mistakenly interpreted to be commentary on their lives.
Many times, I am between a rock and hard place since some of my family members are incredibly uncomfortable about any exterior displays of Jewishness. They subscribe to Yehuda Leib Gordon's philosophy, "Be a Jew inside your home and a man on the street." Judaism to them is something that should only be observed internally. They become uneasy around all things Jewish, sometimes even hesitating to put up a mezuzah on their doorpost since this would only call attention to the fact that their house is a Jewish home.
I do not utter judgmental comments or give disapproving glances at what others do. With less-observant relatives, I strive to build bridges and be as accommodating and considerate as possible while not compromising my beliefs. Sometimes, however, it feels like my efforts are an exercise in futility. Although Gordon's philosophy is the antithesis of how I live my life, I continue to struggle to see things from their point of view and remind myself that we are all Jews and one family.
(Cross Posted on The Jewish Connection)