I think perhaps there is a fear of judgement, a fear that others will criticize you for your beliefs. And yet, I don’t think that fear should stop us. I believe that we can uplift our society such that we can actually have honest, open, kind discussions about our personal beliefs. I believe that we are all, or should be, continually questioning and searching, even if we think we have things figured out. There is so much to learn about in this world, and such little certainty, that we should listen to one another and learn what other people might have to offer.
When it comes to religion, for example, I adhere to a religion that is only 150 years old called the Baha’i Faith. Unless you are a Baha’i, chances are you may have never even heard of this religion. From my perspective, it is my responsibility to share the teachings of this new religion with others, and whether they agree or not is entirely up to them. If we don’t share, we miss out on things we could have learned. Things that perhaps, may have answered many of our questions. Why the hesitancy then?
Many people seem to believe that an individuals beliefs about the purpose of life are entirely personal. On the one hand I completely agree, no one – not my parents, not the religious institutions in my community – can tell me what I am supposed to believe. I shape what make sense to me, I form my own view of how I fit into this big picture of life. The Baha’i Faith is my religion, because I have thought about it and believe that my view of the world aligns with it. So yes, religious/spiritual/existential beliefs are extremely personal, and should be shaped by each individual. But are they only personal? Why can’t we talk about them, and why are we so secretive? It’s not that way everywhere, but it is that way in North America.
I feel that we all, as individual human beings sharing this world together, owe it to one another to talk about our beliefs. To philosophize together and to explore this vast world together. In reality, we are all searching. Even the most religious or spiritual people are still searching. We are all searching for truth and meaning in this vast existence. And we are doing it together. Why then, should we be afraid to do it together?
This is my perspective, and why I want to encourage open dialogue about our individual beliefs. I would love to hear your thoughts below 🙂