The “Religion” of “Mutual Respect”
When I mentioned to a few friends I was considering religion as the subject of my next blog, well, let’s just say they firmly suggested I tackle a safer subject. Even my wife gave me that familiar double take, like, really Mike?
Just the reaction alone persuaded me to follow my instinct and reflect. Why do individuals get so nervous discussing religion? I mean, it’s supposed to instill calmness and tranquility, not nervousness and anxiety. A ton of religious beliefs exist throughout the world, with the major ones totaling about 20 or so (including Atheism). Some of the most familiar include Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism. Each belief system includes various deities, rituals, ceremonies, ethical guidelines, and life philosophies.
I have friends associated with the different major religions, although most will tell you they don’t follow the strict teachings. I mean during the major holidays they may step it up a notch, maybe attend a Place of Worship, but typically they don’t.
I myself was born into a Catholic Italian-American family. I graduated Communion Class, but much to my Mother’s disappointment, I never made it to Confirmation. When Mom’s in town, or around Holidays, I occasionally attend Mass. I have to admit; when I attend a Place of Worship it always instills a feeling of reverence and humbleness.
I read the other day that Atheism is a fast growing religious segment. Atheists, also known as Secularist, are generally skeptical of religious beliefs and are searching for hard evidence, although some are actually religious. In place of religious beliefs, they follow a personal moral code (which varies from person to person), and most believe religion can actually promote divisiveness among humanity.
I personally believe in some higher connection, and the pragmatic side of me is dying to know the details. I mean, when you think about the complexities of the world, it’s absolutely mind boggling. Maybe one day I’ll find out.
In the meantime, my friends and I subscribe to the religion of mutual respect. A simple premise routed in the foundation of respect for each other. A respect for individual belief systems and choice, without forcing them on each other. Easier said than done, but definitely doable.