This I Believe

Terri - Palm Harbor, Florida
Entered on December 25, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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Well, it’s Christmas day, and since I don’t believe in a God in the sky, bearded or otherwise, I’m just enjoying a quiet day to myself I would not have had otherwise.

Which leads to what I do believe. It was formed from my decision as a young adult to eschew my Christian upbringing – I had to wonder why I must have someone from another realm looking over my shoulder in order to do what’s good and right, or in fact need someone to tell me what’s right and wrong at all. That resulted first in feeling a tad superior, then out of place because I wasn’t in step with most everyone else, to now, in my very Boomer middle-years, what has become a source a great pride.

I believe that enjoying others’ beliefs is as important as having my own.

So, throughout the month of December, I used EID stamps, bought my Catholic family members Christmas gifts and my Jewish friends Chanukah treats, and wished others “happy holiday” not because I’m anti-Christmas, but because I’m pro all traditions celebrated at this time of year – Christmas being just one of them.

I don’t feel offended or pressured by others’ spiritual symbols and traditions, because I feel as they do – that it’s important to celebrate the things that mean the most to you – whether or not it’s something I believe as well.

See, my spiritual foundation is closest to that of The Force from Star Wars – a universal good that’s fed by our own goodness, and a universal “dark side” that’s fed by our less than stellar behaviors. So in fact, every time someone watches any one of those movies, they’re celebrating my belief with not a peep of resentment! It is my pleasure to return the honor.

I believe there is a universe of difference between insisting I hold the same religious beliefs as others in order to work, play, attend school, or write this thought to you, and simply being a minority surrounded by a majority’s religious manifestations, yet free to hold my own.

So, I don’t feel pushed around by the big three (Christian, Jewish, Muslim), or believe their ardency diminishes mine – I am happy the observers of each have a source for inner peace and strength. And I will continue to ooh at a beautifully decorated home, and shake my head with dismay at the need to place a GPS tracker on the town cresh’s baby Jesus because the last one was stolen…. Because for me, it’s most important to just believe in something larger than yourself, regardless of what that is.

May the Force be with us, every one!