Posts Tagged ‘belief’

When I’m sad, hurt, frustrated or scared, I wish I believed in religion. Any religion. It seems that many religious people can wrap their worries and scares up into bundles and give it to someone or something, thus leaving them relaxed and refreshed to go on with their lives.

But I’m not religious. I grew up immersed in a myriad of religious beliefs – from Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism (even went to Catholic school), several forms of Christianity, and with close ties to Islam. With all of that, you’d think I’d be at least one and a half of something, right? Nope. I’ve found that many of these holy books, from what I’ve learned and read, provide similar messages in different ways. However, I haven’t been able to find texts proving there’s a God to worship without these items having first gone through numerous translations or cleansing efforts by kings and other leaders at the time, and don’t require discussion, or understanding, or studies of some kind today to decipher. Sure, I think there are some good life lessons to be found in holy books because there are, I just don’t subscribe to a religious belief or live as if there is a God of some entity ruling every aspect of my life, demanding that I have a particular belief or set of thoughts on everyday life issues. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with believing. It’s just not for me.

So here I am, stuck, somewhat, relying on myself, my value system and my sometimes fading sanity, to get through life’s sharp turns, and deal with the bony elbows to the ribs, and knocked knees to my forehead. But I will. Maybe with a mild concussion. As will you. Even if you don’t know it yet. And maybe without being concussed.

I hope that soon we will all figure out that we’re all on the same path together, no matter the religion, culture, or even political party. I hope we can find ways to steer clear of hate in all forms, or stand strong in the face of it, as we enhance our lives, beliefs, and show each other love. Because that’s really what’s needed – more love – regardless of our past, our present and our circumstances. When has hate ever solved anything? I know when I’m frustrated I’m more inclined to make a stupid choice. Don’t be me on stupid.

So while I don’t believe in a particular God, nor do I believe in the world’s most popular religions, I see that their tenets of love and kindness are being ignored. As I deal with my own issues of hurt, frustration, loss, and others things that go bump in my head, I hope you can too.

Love ya! 😉

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Persecute

: to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly especially because of race or religious or political beliefs

: to constantly annoy or bother (someone)

#ItsJustACup

Starbucks SoCalled Persecution

Tell it!

Tell it!

If I declare “Je suis Charlie” I’m popular* with those who are saddened and with the numerous people aware of the recent killings of satirists in France. And I may feel good about myself. If I declare that there’s long been anger and hatred between Algerians and the French and that it’s sad that all religions have fanatics wanting to kill in the name of said religion, I’m not so popular*. And I may or may not feel so good about myself.

If I declare that Boko Haram needs to be stopped from killing more innocent people in Nigeria, I’m popular*. But mostly with those concerned about humans in Africa and around the world. Sadly, many people in my social media network and from reports I’ve seen on several media outlets don’t seem to care. It also seems that not many people in first world countries see Boko Haram as a threat to humanity or their issue to address. However, I still feel good about myself.

If I declare that I’m against police brutality and the murder of innocent black men at the hands of police officers sworn to protect and serve, I’m popular*. If I say that the police officers who turned their backs on Mayor De Blasio when he spoke at a recent police officer’s funeral should be reprimanded and if they hate their city’s Mayor that much, they should find another job, I’m not quite as popular*. If I say that black on black crime chafes my hide but it’s a different problem that should be addressed separate from the police brutality/murder issue, I’m not so popular* again.

If I say to some black people in the U.S. who want people from the Islands and other countries to claim “black” as their race are wrong, I’m not popular*. When I explain that everyone has a right to be labeled whatever they consider themselves, I’m still on the not-so-popular side of things. If I say, “passing as…” or “lying to self…” etc., is a separate subject, I’m still not in the popular* club.

If I say that both white AND black people can be racist, I’m definitely not popular*! We’re all human though, and based on our life experiences, thoughts, sometimes backgrounds and conditioning, etc., we have biases. Granted, many of us move past those to live peaceful and accepting lives among other humans. Some…not so much. But the nerve to say that someone is racist, especially if they don’t believe it, although they exhibit traits and actions proving it, makes me very unpopular*.

What’s all of this have to do with anything? It doesn’t matter how many Facebook “likes” and social media shares, thumbs ups, RTs, responses, etc. I get. If an opinion or thought is truly my own, I will stand behind it when it is popular and when it is less popular or considered downright wrong. Parroting someone else’s agenda and opinions makes you a parrot, a sheep, a meek moron. Who cares if you’re not popular? Stand your ground. But maybe not in Florida.

I recently got into what feels like a repeated discussion about the importance of things in America. Why? Because I’m tired of avoidimg this type of conversation like a plague. However, annoying people would not leave me alone. Honestly, I used to think that discussing my opinion on Americans and choices made by a group of people not representative of the whole was wrong. But over the years I feel that I’ve lived here long enough to not only observe but relate, and since quite a few people want to know what I think (God only knows why), I decided to share. But not just in a bar, at a dinner table or in some pre-arranged social setting. I decided to share on the interwebs where not only the people who agree with me live, but where fun creatures like trolls and haters visit on a daily basis. I wanted to be bold and brave and honest.

So what do I consider the one thing that most (again, not all) Americans love the most? Is it God? Food? Maybe love? Nope. From my observation, and this can be scientifically backed up, (but let’s face it, most things can be scientifically proven if you search hard enough), the one thing that many, if not most Americans love, is sports!

Just take a gander over to any one of the news stations, read  the newspaper, scroll through the social media feeds online, and I bet you’d agree. Yes, sports. No country loves sports, almost any sport really, as much as Americans. Where I was born, sure soccer and cricket worship is high and so yes I realize that I’m placing love of sport in this country over love of sports in another country, and hell many other countries who worship sports like a God, but in this case I see it as an obsession. A good and bad obsession.

Also for the record, I happen to think of sports as important and essential. However, the fascination with it here, in the way statistics are compiled, dug up, or reiterated over and over again, is incredible especially in light of everything that happens – good or bad. For example, a sports score will be shared on news outlets and social media in the midst of turmoil and then just as quickly, the topic will turn back to the issues on hand. But usually after the final whistle is blown. Recently, during the riots in Ferguson Missouri, even the prevalent news channels took a break from its sensationalization of the issue to share football scores.

It seems as though no matter what is wrong with the country or its citizens, if there’s a Superbowl, a Major League Playoff game, or an NBA final, even some of the most impoverished or trampled upon individuals will find a way to watch, and cheer their team on. Is that bad? Yes and no.

Yes it’s bad when a lack of thinking or doing is being covered up by watching. Yes it’s bad when the only thing that many impoverished kids have to hope for, or work hard towards, is being an athlete. For many children if they expect to “be somebody” or earn a decent wage, they’re taught they have to become an athlete. This is emphasized with the push on sports in schools along with the way student athletes are revered on school grounds. There isn’t always this type of maniacal push towards being a scientist, an engineer, a doctor, lawyer or even a teacher, etc.

Sure, the reality is that many athletes make more than a lot of people in the other fields but sadly and statistically proven yet again, not many children become the next Michael Jordan, A-Rod, or Ray Lewis. I say this not to discourage an up and coming athlete but to present a reality check and to hope that parents remember to emphasize the importance of education to their children. Hey, and if a kid becomes the next Tiger Woods or LeBron James, shouldn’t he or she be able to read his/her accounting ledgers and understand the marketing deals being agreed upon? I’m not saying to give up on dreams, just add education to the mix.

To look at the other side of the list, no it’s not bad when sports are promoted to encourage team work and explore or encourage ability. No it’s not bad when someone has a true affinity for a thing and love doing it. No it’s not a bad thing when a sport brings towns and cities and states together to celebrate good times and show support to their children and talented athletes no matter how good or bad they are.

But is the God-like worship of sports and the treatment of their stars like kings and queens really the number one thing that Americans care about? For many, it is. And sure for some it is not. But to say that sports love and addiction is not at the top of important things in America is to ignore facts.

How many schools have, and continue to retain sports programs while other equally important educational programs are cut? How many K-12 coaches, college coaches and education systems ask for a measly 3.0 GPA in order to be a student athlete? How many student athletes get preferential treatment on campus? How many people live vicariously through an athlete’s skill or distract themselves with sports to avoid thinking too much?

Again, to be fair, I enjoy sports as well. But I don’t follow blindly when there are other more pressing matters on hand, and I sure as hell don’t worship athletes. What I do enjoy is a sense of team work to accomplish a goal and have fun. I value movement and exercise. I value sports programs in schools as much as funding for the arts, and would reduce or cut ROTC programs in a heartbeat when sports or arts programs are threatened.

And I dare say that if a religious book claimed that their God played a sport, we’d be more inclined to wake up early to tune in on Sundays before football’s kickoff time just to get a running list of his prior stats, blow-by-blow action of his plays, and predictions for the teams that he cultivayed and affected over the centuries.

I post my opinions but try to do so in a way that the written word can convey my happiness, pissedoffedness, fun foolery mindset, etc. Recently, I’ve seen some (more) interesting and strongly worded statements on social media about religion, racism, sexism, religion and in general, how one should behave, respond, react, feel, or act, or wear at any given time. While it’s your right to have an opinion or judge someone else based on thoughts, style of dress, etc., I must ask a question. Ready? Who gave you the all powerful right to judge someone else or more specifically, who gave you the right to judge someone’s life, heart, intention, or opinions?
Dear religious zealots: Who gave you the right to judge others? Also, if you’re a member of a minority group wherever you live or based on you skin tone, life, etc., and you’re one of the people who are judging others, I have to ask, don’t you have enough people against you already? Why go around throwing fire on situations? Believe what you must, but shut da hell up  and let people live their lives.
Dear religious folk who use social media as a pulpit: You can be happy and follow your religion, but really, don’t you think you’re better served not posting only on Sundays, and daring to “call” others out because they don’t share your views? If everything is God’s (or insert your preference here) will, then why question or highlight anything? After all, it is God’s will.
Also, while we’re on this path, why is it that when something good happens, it’s God’s will, but if something bad happens, it’s the devil’s fault? If three great, wonderful, caring people are in a car crash and two live but one dies, I dare you to say it’s God’s will that they lived within ear shot of the parents of the deceased. Why? Because regardless of your beliefs, you need to stop and consider how others will respond when you say something. Also, refer to the paragraph above about God’s will.
Oh, and if all religions believe the other religions are wrong, then by sheer logic, aren’t all religions wrong?
I’m not trying to argue faith as a whole, just highlight the flaws with people’s general statements, and strong, almost “Internet troll-like” ways. After all, more wars were started in the name of religion than for any other reason.
With regard to racism: Every human has flaws. Some are just more flawed than others. Yes, racism exists. Those who aren’t in a minority class may not experience it as much as those who are, but let’s be honest, racism exists and those in the majority class witness it even if they don’t experience it first hand.
Also…
Dear white people: There will be numerous topics that you will unfortunately be blamed for, not viewed favorably if you join in, etc. even if you were not directly involved. Yes, it sucks. No, I don’t agree with that line of thinking. But compared to living day in and day out as a minority who experiences racism, consider yourself lucky that that’s all you have to be uncomfortable about. I know all white people don’t have mansions and a million servants but if your reality isn’t that bad, just understand that this is just one of the things your privilege affords you and let this one go. The same way some minorities can’t understand privilege, is the same way you won’t understand how racism acts and words can taint a person’s life.
Dear minorities: Not all white people are racist. Some are, while there are some who care more about civil rights and activism than some minorities. Try to take everyone as they are. If you encounter a racist bastard, address said bastard as such and move on. If you encounter a nice white person, enjoy the encounter and move on…
Oh and…
Dear minorities: Stop self-hating. It’s ugly and worse than the racist white person you may be raging against.
Dear sexist bastard: Your daughter or mother has to deal with your shenanigans and fuckery via other sexist bastards. Please stop being a misogynist pig. Women are just as capable as men when it comes to tasks, jobs, education, etc.
Dear Judgmental people: Stop judging others based on body size, opinions, choice of music, political party affiliation, material possessions, etc. If you have that much time to judge and post Facebook status updates and instagram videos on what people are wearing or doing, is that an indication of how limited, lonely or sad you are? If you need friends, go find some. If you need less judgmental friends, go find those too. They’re out there, I promise.

No one is perfect. I’m sure as hell not. However, I am trying to find my inner peaceful warrior to help me focus on what’s important in my life. In order they are:

Loved ones (humans and non-humans. I love my animal friends too!)
Enjoying great times and creating memories with loved ones and friends.
Creativity.
Living a full and fulfilling life.
What’s on your list?