Since I was about two, I was raised into a faith alternate to Christianity. To be more specific, my faith is described by some as the “old religion”, a term of vague meaning for most, but to call it anything else would make my statement inaccurate.
I always faced discrimination for my beliefs; I was even outright told that my beliefs were incorrect. This was the case all through my public schooling. At times it was worse than others, yes; and there were people who were much more accepting than others. For years I would come home most nights with stories of how my piers had treated me.
One particular event in my childhood solidified my belief (at the time) that “my sort” could never be accepted in the world. One day, when I was in the third grade, a letter was left on my desk. The details are vague, but the letter started off with something to the effect of, “Hey, Stefan! My dad told me to keep telling you about god and the bible.” I can’t say that the letter said anything about saving my soul, or the devil being afoot with me, but it was clear to me that my beliefs were not approved of.
For years after this I made attempts to isolate myself from people. I made very few friends during the years between the third and eighth grades, and I told almost none of them of my faith. It wasn’t until the end of eighth grade that began to open up. It began to be that most of the conflicts I got into were not religious at all; they were just the usual middle school spats.
Finally, when I came to High School, I made the two best friends I’ve had since I could remember. Their names best not be disclosed, but these two people changed my life. These two people only did one thing to change my view of the world, they accepted my faith, truly accepted it. The separate nights I told them each of my beliefs, they left baffled and astonished. What seemed like the normal and everyday to me had never made sense in their eyes until now.
The simple, elegant, all-important truth I learned from this experience is that no belief is wrong. It’s not wrong to pray to Christ, nor is it wrong to speak with trees. The important thing is to follow the path that makes sense to you. If you do that, then life will treat you well in the end.
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