Originally Posted April 9 2016
What are beliefs? What purpose do they serve? What effect do they have on the world around us?
Beliefs are simply this… What you believe to be reality and what you believe to matter. Do you believe in God? Many gods? No god? That you are god? Those are all your beliefs.
Let me point out that your beliefs have absolutely no bearing on what IS real, but only what you believe to be real. I can believe all I want that I have wings and can fly, but a jump off the roof will still end badly for me.
So that being said, what bearing do our beliefs have on this world.
To start off with… Controversial point number 1: Your beliefs have no control over what others can do or can’t do.
THERE IS A MAJOR ASTERISK ON THIS!
If you believe that something is right or wrong… No… You do not have the ability to demand it of others… But realize something right here and now…. They have no right to force you to follow their beliefs as well.
So here is where that asterisk pops in… See in a simple question of what is real and what isn’t… No, your thoughts and emotions have no bearing on what others can do, no matter how strongly you hold your opinion. If you happen to be right there may be real world consequences to people not believing what you believe, but that is for reasons separate from you believing them.
That being said, is it right to not give a hoot towards other people’s beliefs? If you are asking, should I change my beliefs to fit within other peoples’ beliefs then no…. Because their beliefs do not affect my own and if I start compromising my beliefs to fit within theirs, I know longer believe in my beliefs, My belief is suddenly that my beliefs do not really matter. Which is kinda depressing really when you think it through….
BUT! It is important to be sensitive to someone’s beliefs. If my friend believes that technology is the root of all evil and the cause of all our world’s problems, am I going to purge my life of tech just to suit their needs? Not on your life…. But I will (try) to not say things about technology around them, or try to be sensitive to their own fears and frustrations. Same way I wish people wouldn’t show porn to people trying to stay pure, or invite recovering alcoholics to get drunk.
This is not a compromise where in we sacrifice our own morals to avoid upsetting someone. This is just an acceptance that this world holds people who believe things separate from myself and that even if I don’t agree with them, and may discuss things with them in order to help them avoid what I may believe to be pitfalls of life, that I respect them for their right to decide right or wrong.
So controversial thing 2: People are wrong….. It’s true…. You’re wrong… I’m wrong…. Some of us are less wrong but we are all in the end wrong.
People are fallible. In fact, of the vast amounts of knowledge that exist within this world we can possibly comprehend…… A fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent…. Maybe…. We are stuck within time, within space, within the limited capacities of our minds…. So yes…. What you believe in life is not 100% accurate….
BUT! Does this mean that all beliefs are foolish and just a waste of time? No…. Not even remotely…. Whether you ever accept it or not, reality exists… There are things which just are… For every choice there is consequences because the entire existence of choice relies on consequences. Intelligence relies on the ability to make wrong decisions. Good relies on the existence of bad…. At the end of your days you are going to learn that you were either right or wrong…. You’re going to discover if the things you fought for in life were worth fighting for, or if the stuff you fought for were a waste of time… And there will be things you may never see… The consequences to your bloodline… Or your friends… What impact you had on the world around you…. All of this WILL happen based on the choices you have made in life. You can say it does not matter what you believe because all beliefs are the same, yet the results of people who believe such things end up different.
It is not what you do but why. You can say “All religions aim to surpass the place they are now, and become something greater, so they are all the same. All different paths leading to the same goal.”
But what if the goals are different? What if the motivations are different? What if the morals we hold are different?
Why do you live? Is it to succeed? Is it to become better? Is it to be remembered? Is it to have no regrets? Is it to have an impact? Is it to leave the world a little better than you left it? Is it to love? Is it to hate? Is it to control? Is it to learn? Is it to grow? Is it to evolve? Is it to discover?
How are you motivated to live? Is it by how others treat you? Is it by the successes you have? Is it by what you can get? Is it by what you can do? Is it by those who love you? Is it by those you love? Is it by curiosity? Is it by fear? Is it by hatred? Is it by pride? Is it by sensuality? Is it an inspiration?
Why you live, and how you are motivated to keep going will control your direction, it will control your path. You may be aiming to the same goal of heaven, enlightenment, a good end, a good impact, what not…. But without the same engine and the same route plan, you will not end up at the same place.
So how should we live? I guess we first have to accept that we are different… We will be wrong… We will hurt people we don’t mean to…. If you want to slow down the amount of pain though… Stop focusing on becoming perfect humans. Start by accepting that you are not perfect. That no one else is perfect. And that you will hurt just as many people as hurt you. Be humble not proud. Do not take pride because others sin differently than you, but don’t let others fall into pitfalls that you see clearer than them either. Walk with humility, grace, acceptance of what is in Gods hands and not your own, and most of all, walk in love as God loves you in spite of who you are.