This I Believe

Carlos - El Paso, Texas
Entered on December 4, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in living life as if there was no God. I know it sounds weird, but this is what I have learned to believe over the years.

I grew up in a family where differences in beliefs were common. Some believed solemnly in the Church, while others truly did not seem to have been made for it. My grandmother always tried to convince me to go to church every Sunday like the devoted Catholic she was. My mother in the other hand chose to live her life quite differently.

I went to a Catholic church where prayers had to be said before each class and mass was served each month in school. I met wonderful people there that were extremely devoted to their beliefs. I have always admired their strong devotion towards others, their strong belief in God and their carelessness of money.

When I turned ten years old, I moved to El Paso, Texas. There, I was able to meet some Jewish people. Their religion was new to me. I was surprised at their customs but yet something seemed oddly similar about them.

Throughout my childhood, I struggled to decide what religion was meant for me. I watched my mom day by day sacrificing so many things to give me and my brother a good life. Thanks to her, I never had to worry about not having enough education, money or love. After all the bad things that had happened to her throughout her life, an ugly divorce where she almost lost everything, including her children, she was still able to give out such love, such devotion. I never understood how somebody could go though all of that without growing bitter. She still does that. She is dedicated to her students and her children. She lives her whole life for other people. I can do nothing but admire her for that. One of the things I most admire about her is that it is important to do things right and for the right reasons.

I no longer try to find a religion to believe in. I don’t care anymore about whether God exists or not. Whether Buddhists, Christians, Catholics or the Jewish are right or wrong, I admire each and every one of them. I no longer do things because of fear of going to hell after I die. Good things are to be done because you want to, not because you fear being punished. I believe in living a good life doing things right, being fair, helping people, and loving others. I believe in living my life as if there was no God to punish me for my actions because doing things right is worth much more when you do it because you know it’s right not because you are scared.

Whether I believe in a specific religion or not, it doesn’t matter. I search for the same things that all religions look for, being a good person, and this is what I believe in.