Why do people have a religion? Do people seek faith in higher power? To believe in something bigger than themselves?
In some religions, like Islam, Christianity and Taoism, babies are born into the religion at birth. Meaning they were considered Islam when they entered the world, baptized at the right age or “registered” as Taoist in the temples at birth. So some people are born with a religion. As for the other group of people, they were born free into this world, free to choose what they want to believe in, who they put their faith in and what God(s), if any, is aligned to their morality.
All Religions are Good
I’ve been pondering upon the idea of religion for a couple of years now. My family is Buddhist, but I grew up in a Presbyterian environment my entire childhood years. So it’s safe to say that I’ve been exposed to both religions since young. At about 7, I started to think about which God is “right” and that I should believe in. I had sleepless nights at 7 because of this. Then, something my dad told me during our road trip to Thailand changed my perspectives on who is the “better God”. He said that all religions are good; for they teach the same underlying values – be kind, be nice to your neighbors, don’t lie, do to others what you would want others to do to you. It was then that I realised there was nothing to fuss about. All religions are good.
However, as I grew up, I saw how religion changed and moulded people. Humans killing each other in the names of their Gods, constant riots and violence where religious differences was evident and unaccepted. As religion these days are now based on the scriptures and words, when taken too literally, can cause serious damage. These scripts were written during another period, another era, another century where some things do not apply anymore. Instead of following each words closely, perhaps we can adapt the underlying lessons to make us better humans.
So, despite all the religious fights, why do people still choose to go into one? It’s perhaps due to the fact that we need to believe in something greater than ourselves.
I can’t emphasize enough, at how much beliefs and faith can change the world. We cannot be who we are, if not for the underlying belief and faith that we have. Since I was exposed to religion since young, I found myself seeking faith in god, something bigger than myself, when I need some faith.
As I reached 15, I learnt more about humans, our brains and why we do what we do. I realised maybe, we don’t need a god. Maybe, we can find this faith within ourselves. Maybe we are the god we claim to play.
But as it turns out, sometimes, we can lose faith in ourselves, the god we pretend to be. The universe is a vast space and there are many unknown out there. There was when I realised I needed to believe in something bigger than myself, to have the faith that there is something out there when I lost faith in myself.
When the rest of the world continues to see so much greatness in me, it’s easy to regain the faith in what I do again. Strangers who do not know my story have so much faith in me that it’s impossible to lose faith in myself. That’s why I believe in the higher power of the universe, just in case someday I lose faith in myself. Because the universe sends people to enter my life and tell me it’s all going to be okay.
And that started my belief in the universe and faith that it conspires to help me achieve things I want to achieve. I must say, it has been working out incredibly well. When I lose faith, I’m glad that the universe sends random people into my life, reminding me of who I am, why I start what I am doing and the impacts of me being me. I’m incredibly grateful for that.
So maybe in the same vein, religion is another way for people to outsource their faith to something bigger that is not within their own control. But ultimately, I believe that the execution still lies in our individual hands. I can have the most faith, but if I am not working on getting closer to the bigger goal, nothing really matters. There is only so much religion, belief, faith and god can do.