To Believe Or Not To Believe? That Is The Question!
As a society we have a need to box people into particular sects or groups. It generally has to do with beliefs and values systems and seemingly helps others better understand what type of person you are. This tends to offer comfort to many and whilst there are gross over generalisations and skepticism, people feel better knowing what they are a part of and maybe more importantly, what they are not a part of.
Growing up myself without any label or belonging to a group, has given me the opportunity to seek out where I feel I fit in, as well as choose where I want to attempt to belong. Having friends with differing religious beliefs along with travel, has exposed me to a variety of value systems, all of which I observe and find intrigue in. What is apparent is that many people simply accept the belief system of their parent's and their upbringing, rarely questioning the deeper values or dabbling in other groups or sects.
As humans we have a desire to belong and find solace in feeling a part of a group or community. This is mirrored predominantly in the animal kingdom as well as there is generally strength in numbers. What I have uncovered on my journey thus far, and what upsets me the most, is the unnecessary need many have for segregation. So many believe that their value system is superior to other's and that they are therefore right and everyone else is wrong.
The interesting thing though, when you begin to explore most religions, is that you can draw many similarities. Religion is often a source of disagreement (when people of differing religions meet) and as you look through history, has been the underlying reason for many power struggles. Personally, holding a belief in equality (you can read more in my blog here), I struggle to understand what would make me any better than someone else, based on my religion. We are all humans and we all have the right to believe in what we choose, but we need to extend that further and find acceptance in the fact that our fellow humans have the right to their own and possible, differing belief.
If your belief system makes you a happy, well rounded, participating member of your broader society, without inflicting harm on another, then I say "go for it." That being said, my personal belief at current, is not to give myself a religious label. I do however, refer to myself as spiritual. I hold a belief that one who is religious can be spiritual, but in order to hold spiritual beliefs, doesn't make you religious.
As the generations evolve, I tend to see less and less conforming to a religious sect, and more and more taking values from religion and applying them in a spiritual way. My beliefs form a big part of my life and have helped me find my place in belonging to a community of like minded beings. I am proud to refer to myself as a spiritual being having a physical embodied existence, whilst accepting others are entitled to live their life according to their beliefs. It is not about being right or wrong, but it is about believing in something bigger than just you as an individual in order to leave this place we call Earth, slightly better than you found it.