Saturday, November 3, 2007

Formulating Ideas

My friend Liz once told me to question everything.

I realized this theory early in my life, but I never thought to put it into words that way until she said it. I come from a background extremely driven by faith, as the substance of things hoped for, and because of this I felt like my world was telling not to ask questions, to accept things as they are and will be. But I don't think faith, the evidence of things unseen, is the same as blind faith. As Talib Kweli said, "Just because the Lord is our Shepherd doesn't mean we have to be sheep." Blind faith has no more depth, no more efficacy, than blind disbelief. People who don't believe in and try to discredit things they have never heard or experienced are ignorant (they choose to ignore the information that is available for observation). People who follow blindly behind anyone's teachings (once they are of age to think for themselves responsibly) are just as ignorant.

I believe in 95% of the things that "conservatives" or "traditionalists" or "religious people" believe in, but A) my reasoning for believing those things and B) the way I came to believe those things differ from the people on whom those labels are placed.

I don't believe anything just because someone said it. I believe what I see and what I experience. Don't tell me that isn't faith. Because the faith came, not when I saw it the first time, but when I continued to believe in once I couldn't see anymore.

I don't base my actions on anyone's mandates. For the most part, I make my own decisions based on my analysis of the situation. And I live with whatever consequences and rewards may arise from my actions.

I don't try to force people into a way of thinking that they aren't inclined toward. I drop hints, I make my opinions and beliefs known, and I truly believe there are many "religious" principles that it would behoove mankind to abide by. But abiding by those principles is their decision. I don't need to shove someone to their knees. When Life has had it's way with them, they'll end up on their knees of their own accord. Better to help and love and protect them while they work their way toward the breaking point than to spawn animosity by trying to break the unbending.

I'm also not a movement-joiner/cause-supporter. I believe one should experience anything and everything that they can, but it is possibly a limitation of yourself to align yourself solely with any one thing. Attend a peace rally and a march on Washington. Hear a political activist speak live. Go on a mission trip. Volunteer with the homeless. Attend a revival. But to become the champion of one cause is the calling of the very very few, not the many. John Wesley said, "Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can."

No comments:

Post a Comment