People and Faith
Many people follow a religion; most follow what they were born into: Catholicism,
Protestantism, Hebrew, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, just to name a few. I have never been a
follower of any one faith in particular; instead of just accepting one way of looking at the after
life, I began to look at the broader picture of the human spirit and that of the universe. I
eventually learned that it doesn’t matter what one believes, as long as one does what one
perceives to be the right thing and respects others; That is the real importance of faith.
In order to understand my beliefs, we must look at the faiths of the ones who created me,
my mother and father. My mother, a protestant Episcopalian, and my father, an Irish Catholic,
worked hard in life to make sure that I (and later my sister) would have the best life they could
make for me. My mother felt it was best not to have either religion pushed onto me, but for me to
learn about them on my own in time. From time to time I might ask things like, “Daddy, why is
that man holding onto that plus sign?” when I would see a statue of Jesus carrying his cross. To
many people, that would have been blasphemous, but my parents were very understanding and
would answer my questions using the all the classic “child approved” versions of biblical tales.
For a while, I accepted these tales.
As I grew up, I learned of many other faiths, all with positive and negative elements in
each. I eventually came to a conclusion, if there are so many faiths, then how can only one of
them be right? After seeing so much hatred between religions, I felt that is was best to leave
them all and instead to seek out my own. After much soul searching, I came to the conclusion
that not one faith was correct, but that all are correct. Many beliefs share similar elements, that
we are all brethren, honor our families, and do good in the world.
Whenever I express these feelings, some will tell me that my idea is completely wrong,
that there is a huge difference between the “bible-thumpers” and “towel-heads.” Whenever I hear
this, I reply, “The more you show me differences, the more I see similarities.” Don’t both believe
in a supreme being? Don’t both believe in a human soul? Don’t both bleed when cut?
I hope that in time, more people will understand my viewpoint of the world. I know that
there are some who already do, and, in time, they will rise in numbers. Through unity lies the
true strength of people, and our different ways of thinking are what make us special. We can
be one people of many minds; this I believe.