I’ve been writing a lot of half-posts that have just been rotting away in my drafts section. I keep getting distracted lately, and that’s good since I’ve been deliberately trying to distract myself and fill up empty time. This is going to be a very convoluted post because I’ve never really been able to separate these two trains of thought.
This has always been on my mind and I don’t feel like studying right now, so here’s a good time-waster heh. It’s always nice to feel like I’m talking to someone anyway.
I’ve always wondered what it’s like to have a religion. The only one that I’m vaguely familiar with is this weird blend of Catholic faith and Christianity, and whatever that managed to get squashed into my head during bible studies in Primary school. Oh right, and random facts about Buddhism because of my dad’s current fascination with Buddhism.
From my experiences in St Nicks, I can safely say that I don’t believe in a Christian God. And it’s not even because of the religion itself, it’s because of how it was presented in school, as epitomized by Father Simon’s ghost stories every year, and the sense of superiority he had about his religion. Maybe he didn’t mean it that way, but he seemed very patronising about those who didn’t believe in his God, and it felt like he was almost damning us because of it.
But the annoyance I have for him aside, I’ve always been slightly jealous of people who genuinely believe in their Gods, whichever religion they’re in. I don’t understand why some feel the need to think themselves better, because they don’t believe in God; as if believing in a religion is stupid. I’m pretty sure I used to think that it was super cool~ not to believe at one point in my life, but now I’m just curious I suppose, and slightly envious.
This is probably linked to how I’m rather fickle about things, or how uncommitted I am as a person, but I really want to know how people can put their faith into something that doesn’t exist — or rather, that doesn’t have any physical proof that it exists. How can they so whole-heartedly put their beliefs in something that they haven’t seen before. I guess it all boils down to the word: faith, to have infinite trust and to not have any doubts. And that’s a commitment that I truly admire.
I don’t believe in God. But I believe in the Universe, and I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that you should try to be the best person that you can be. And isn’t that close enough to what religion is supposed to teach us? To be a good person, to not dwell on mistakes, to trust that everything will turn out okay — that’s what religion means to me anyway.
My dad once asked me if I had any values that I lived my life by, since I didn’t have religion to guide me. And I said I wanted to be a ‘nice person’; he corrected me. It’s not enough to be a nice person, you have to be a good person, he said. More and more, I’m starting to see the distinction, and I’m starting to realise that I’ve been leading my life in a very grey way.
I’ve been trying my best to stay on the good side of the distinction; and the more I think about it, the more I see this dichotomy being played out in other people’s characters as well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone’s nice yet no one’s good, but I’m starting to realise the tiny differences between the two, the differences that may end up in Consequences for others. I think this has been on my mind because I’m not sure which I am. Since my dad spoke to me about it, and that was about two years ago, I’ve always tried to keep on the good side, but now I’m not so sure. And that worries me, because these days, I feel myself changing every day, and I’m not sure in what way. I guess it’s right what they say about university being one of the defining experiences because I really feel it.
This probably all sounds very silly to anyone else who’s reading it, but I just can’t help noticing this, especially now. I look back, and I think about what I’ve done and I think about what others have done, and I can see so many instances when I’m just being nice because I want to make myself feel better. But then again, can such self-gratification ever be separated from acts of kindness? Maybe this is just about how I’m still not too sure of the person I am.
But back to religion, which is where all this nonsense started out from, sometimes it’s nice to feel that things are slightly out of your control, and that there’s someone watching out for you. Whenever I’m feeling a little down or lonely; those are the times I need something like that to believe in; this conviction that such a dark period will blow over. And I guess that’s a bit like what religion is for as well.
Maybe that’s why I watch shows like Digimon, where believing is enough to get you through the day. Why Power Rangers, with their courage and their strength and their determination to never give up, has always appealed to me. I want that strength and belief; that faith. I see in those shows everything that I would ever want to be, the values that I want to live my life by.
And maybe at the end of the day, I do subscribe to a religion, but one that’s created entirely by me for me; from the sum of all my experiences and everything that I’ve heard or seen from others, my reflections and my different beliefs. It doesn’t have a God, or a scripture, or anything of that sort; all that anchors it is that steadfast, almost irrational belief, that you must always have Hope, and everything will turn out for the best.