I don’t believe in aligning with one religion or subscribe to just one type of belief anymore. With the recent terrorist events in different parts of the world such as Charlie Hebdo, Ukraine and Russia, and those in the Middle East, I now resolve to respect other people despite the differences in beliefs and their skin color. It doesn’t happen all the time, to be honest, because this area is still a work in progress (as are other areas of my life), but what I’m sure of is that I’m willing to see the common values that other religions have and apply them in my life.
I may not have read the entirety of the Bible, but I do remember some people in there saying that those who believe in God are much better than those who don’t. Which I now believe may or may not be the case anymore. Each of us have our own personal journeys, including a belief or non belief in a God, the Universe, angels, chakras, among many others, and how we manage our lives depends on what values we hold dear.
Pope Francis was right when he said in one of his recent messages while he visited the Philippines that there are limitations to freedom of speech, especially where religion is concerned. Some people or races may take it in stride but others really take them personally, a fact that must be considered each time we create something for the world to see.
If all religions value peace, love, generosity, among other things, then why divisions and conflicts still occur? The one between Israel and Palestine happened since forever. Muslims and Christians also had a history of conflicts at different periods in time. Even in the Philippines, Muslim extremists in Mindanao kidnap mostly foreigners and demand ransom before they are released, otherwise they will be killed.
I still believe in God, but I do yoga and meditation instead of reading the Bible as I find my soul is much better attuned to these two when done together. Some of the Biblical scriptures are still applicable today, but others don’t anymore, at least for me. I have few gay friends and I respect where they are and what they have achieved so far. I would like to have friends from other countries to help me understand more and be more respectful of their own cultures. I know that travel can help achieve that, and it’s just a matter of planning for it.
In beauty pageants, they always talk about world peace. But how do we actually achieve it? We need to start in our own household, our community, our workplaces, so eventually it spreads to everywhere else. It may be a tall order, of course considering the conflicts still happening, but in our own lives we can help extend those values towards others. Some of us are born into one religion through our parents and ancestors, attend a church, synagogue, mosque, while others weren’t taught about it at all, and so how can one belief be better than the other when we were simply born into it and not actually choosing it? Do we really need to enter a building to have a spiritual relationship? If it works for your spiritual wellbeing, good for you. If you still act like a b^&@%h or d#*k during weekdays and attend church on weekends, then that’s not good.
I prefer peace instead of being right. Even when writing articles for this blog, I am very mindful of the words I write and publish. We simply need to be respectful of each other if we want peace to rule in our lives. Being very mindful of our thoughts, focusing on our journeys and what we want to accomplish in this life. We don’t need to hear another person being killed to avenge their God being mocked. Think of all the loved ones left behind. Think before doing anything dangerous and drastic. Sure, those cartoonists should think of other better drawings to present, but mind your own business. Mind your own journey, my friends. Keep an eye on those thoughts in your head, the conversations between the people in your own heads. If it’s chaotic, find ways to achieve peace in your own head in a good way. Because according to Martin Luther King, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.” Yes, find that light indeed through love and respect.
Life is too short to think of the rightness of your own religion at the expense of others. Life is too short for hate; in fact hate can even shorten one’s life if left unchecked. So be kind and be respectful to everyone, my friends. Actually, be kind, compassionate, patient, and loving to yourselves first so you can be kind, compassionate, patient and loving towards others.