I’m going to take a break from my usual casual style posting to say something that is pretty obvious but very much from the heart.
In my life I’ve been very fortunate to meet all kinds of smart, kind, and interesting people:
I have friends who grew up as Mormons and are now atheists.
I have friends with hippy parents who are now conservatives.
I have friends who grew up Catholic and returned to it slightly worse for wear after a rough (extended) youth.
And don’t get me started on my Jewish friends…
Some people I know have experienced doubts and a loss of faith.
Others claim to have witnessed miracles and have renewed their commitment to God.
Some people I know have made these changes along with their families.
Others have found matters of faith to rock the foundation of once strong relationships.
Some people I know keep their beliefs a secret.
Others shout their truths from the rooftops.
Changes are a normal part of life. If your faith is exactly the same as it was when you sat in your nursery school classroom listening to Bible stories it means you are not thinking and not growing. Life is a complicated journey sometimes things go full circle and sometimes you end up exactly 180 degrees from where you started- but no matter where life takes you being true to yourself is the surest path to liking who you are.
To all the people out there who are full of guilt conflict and confusion – whether you are moving toward religion or away from it I have this important bit of advice:
No matter who you are or what you believe: if you believe this life is all there is or if it’s your ticket to the afterlife there is only one thing you can do in this world to make it a better place for everyone and that is to do good.
Help people when you can, empathize with them even when you can’t.
Don’t look away from someone in need or in pain.
Smile when you talk to people let them know you are listening when they speak.
This world is a dark and complicated place, war, hate and suffering surround us – it is everyone’s job to make the world a better place. Being selfish is about the most unsatisfying way to live. A life filled with kindness, mercy, and good deeds is a life worth living no matter what you believe.