Today’s alternative perspective comes from a fellow transadventurist who has a special place in my heart – my father.
He’s going to share some things he’s learned from his adventures in religion and beliefs.
I jokingly tell people I was born, “born again!” Meaning, I can’t remember ever not being a fundamentalist Christian. Of course, no one’s ever born with a set of beliefs! In reality, we ultimately choose to inherit, or in some way or another, formulate for ourselves a system of beliefs which carry us through life.
Here’s the funny thing about beliefs, and (lucky you!) we’ve all got our own unique set of them! Everyone exists with them and no one can exist without them!
Don’t we all perceive our unique set of beliefs as neat little packages of “Universal Truth”? If your beliefs happen to not fit inside my little box of reality, then yours couldn’t possibly be true, right? We dare not even question that premise. When my beliefs are challenged, more often than not my response seems to be, “If you please, don’t go messing with mine!”
We stake our lives on what we believe. We go to war over what we believe. We kill to defend what we believe. Belief is the stuff that motivates one to strap a bomb to one’s own body to blow up “the infidels,” or to bomb the abortionist’s clinic!
Since belief is so exquisitely powerful, wouldn’t you agree that what we believe is crucial, not only to our own welfare, but to the welfare of those around us?
Beliefs which put me in good standing with my God, yet simultaneously allow me to burn you at the stake, or allow me to make you my slave, or allow me to condemn you when “the wrong person” happens to get in the way of your love, just won’t cut it!
Let’s embrace beliefs which incorporate the good of – not only ourselves – but all humankind and all animal kind and all plant kind and all earth kind and beyond!
Are we able to give a positive response to the question, “How are your beliefs working out for you?” (and for those you influence)? If we’re not, then perhaps something could stand a little “tweeking.”
The good news? We all, indeed, have the power to make corrections at any point along the way if needed to better serve ourselves and others.
I believe, therefore I am!