During my travels, at work and with friends in Dubai, and even within my extended family, I’ve been surrounded with people who believe. They obviously do not necessarily share the same beliefs or the same faith, but most people I know believe in something. Something bigger. Some call it God, others Allah, or the Light.
Every time it comes up, I find myself getting envious. Not because of what they do in life or their possessions, but because I too would like to believe in something.
But I guess I take after my grandfather after all. Although he ended up being a believer in something bigger, he was raised in Catholicism. He went to a Catholic boarding school, mostly because my great-grandmother was quite sick, but probably also because I can imagine he would have been quite argumentative. So having him only on weekends and school holidays was most likely more than enough!
Once he finished his schooling years, he married but it was always very clear religion was not something for him. He didn’t understand the need to go to mass, confess one’s sin, or anything else related to Christianity. He would let my grandmother go, of course, but didn’t put any pressure on my mother and her siblings to go.
My mother also grew up quite far from religion but found her own different faith. My father never talked about religion either, even though his parents still go to church to this day. So growing up with my parents, I was told religion was my own decision. I could decide whether I was doing my first communion or not. I didn’t feel any connection to Catholic religion at that point, so I decided not to do it. I knew I could always go back and do it later on should it become something I wanted.
This freedom of faith was great. I was not only allowed to make up my own opinion and find what suited me most but encouraged to do so.
I’m not sure at this point if my parents expected me to lose faith. Although losing would be a big word since I never really had faith. Do this day, I still struggle to figure out whether or not I believe in something bigger, or if we are just a happy accident after a series of somewhat unique events.
Having traveled a fair bit, met people from many different faiths, but mostly seen many different ways to live and struggle, I find it harder and harder to believe there would be a god out there.
If there is one, why is he inflicting so much pain on people who did nothing to deserve it?
Since I don’t believe in religions, I don’t buy in the Heaven vs Hell debate. And according to most religions, because of my nonbelief, I’ll most likely end up in Hell anyway.
At least I won’t be cold.
As I mentioned earlier, I am sometimes envious of people who believe. As a friend of mine told me one day I was having a hard time, god only puts the challenges he knows you can go through on your path.
Having this belief running in the background would be really helpful in trusting that one can make it. No matter what is happening to them.
But since I do not have those crutches to lean on, I find myself losing the faith that I can accomplish things at times.
Will I ever believe in a religion? It’s probably unlikely. I might, however, develop the belief in something bigger. Maybe one day I’ll connect to some beliefs, or maybe I won’t. And it’s fine either way, as long as I always stay true to my own values.
When I die, maybe I’ll be proven wrong. But until then I’ll keep on carrying on, and do my best every day. After all, as a human with a conscious mind, that’s pretty much all I can do.