Thursday, May 8, 2014

What do you believe?

I am a person of strong opinions. That is vastly different from merely being opinionated. For example, I no longer hold strong opinions on ideas on which I am not well informed about. I now take time to assimilate information about an idea and let it sprout into knowledge, As this knowledge blooms, I will generally become more forceful in my beliefs surrounding that idea.

In my lifetime, I have ditched opinions more often than not. I used to believe in God. I used to believe in academia. I used to believe in marriage. I used to believe in democracy. I used to believe in peace. I used to believe in hope. I used to believe in certainty.

I look back on the naivety of my certitudes with a nostalgic fondness now. I clung to them with desperation. It is freeing to not feel the chains of blind faith while trudging through life. I have joy in the new lightness of my being.

Recently I had a discussion with a new neighbour about religion, god and faith. She was getting frustrated and flustered about my atheism. She asked: "Well, what DO you believe in then?"

"I believe in humans. It's all we've got." I replied calmly.

And by her look, I could tell, that she did not share this belief. This makes me sad since I realize that she is not alone in her misanthropy yet ironically must feel quite alone whilst walking amongst her fellow humans.

But, in my humanism, I too am not alone. I have met some astounding people over the last few years that also believe in humans and the power of human connection. This has brought more faith to my life than the three decades of religious indoctrination in my youth. Watching their activities through the magic of technology, inspires and humbles me daily. It literally gives sight to my faith and cushions me with the comfort of knowing others have belief in me and in each other.

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