Much of our identity was formed when we were very young. When you examine how you understand yourself, it becomes clear. Are you proud to be an American? Can American do no wrong in your mind…even after Viet Nam and Iraq? Are you Christian? Are you certain that Christ is the Son of God…that there is a Heaven and that the only way to get to Heaven is to accept the “fact” that Christ died on the cross for our sins? Or, are you Jewish how is convinced that Christ was not the son of God but only a Rabbi. As a Jew you are “certain” that the Messiah is yet to come.
The purpose of this piece is not to re-litigate these wars or to challenge your religious beliefs. I’m certain that there are many people of good hearts and minds that think those wars to be just and warranted and who firmly believe in their religious views. The purpose of this piece is to challenge you to become a free thinker…re-think why you think and feel the way you do…to have doubt and curiosity. It is from this position that You can best understand who You are, what Your beliefs are and how You can understand your life from the position this moment, now because of ideas that were foisted upon you, regardless of whether or not they were done so with of now…not then.
When we are young our parents are Gods to us. They are the giver of pleasure and pain. They keep us safe. They explain how things work and tell us what we should and should not to, what we should and should not believe. There is a great possibility that the reason you are proud of your country and your religion, why you have your affinities and prejudices, and why you have your likes and dislikes were, in great measure, formed by your relationships with your parents, your country and your culture.
Believe in Christ if that is what You arrive at. Believe that your country is doing and always has done right if that is what You believe in. Look at your world with fresh eyes and an open heart. Becoming a free thinker is never easy. It can mean challenging the status quo and the disapproval or scorn who lose you love and respect. Eating from the Tree of Knowledge will cast you out of Eden but I am convinced that if you can tolerate the challenges that go with differentiation, then you will land in an elevated field that will be amazingly freeing.