Your world is defined by that which you accept as truth. Whether it is the things you were taught in school, or by your parents; information gleaned through experiences or as is often the case, formed by the religions, belief systems and societies we grow up in.
Do you know your box? Do you know what it is made from? Do you know why you believe what you believe… and who you believe? How do you choose who and what is true?
We all have a box. Even those who claim to live on the fringe and don’t adhere to mainstream scientific theories or who have different opinions about our world, they’re in a box a too, it’s just a slightly different box.
Our boxes are our reality, and no two are the same. What you believe makes your reality concrete, solid and logical. It gives you something to hold on to, something to base future opinions and decisions off of. We tend to cling to these beliefs, to this solidity, because when we are faced with evidence that the rules that our reality is based on might be false, everything else in our reality begins to crumble as a result.
We humans are stubborn, tenacious, and relentlessly fight to keep hold of what we believe in. Strength in our convictions is important, it gives us confidence and a base from which to live our lives. But clinging to convictions that we have simply accepted from others, rather than discovered for ourselves, can also be a crutch. When they prevent us from being open to new ideas. When they prevent us from being able to see into the boxes, into the realities of others. When they prevent us from connecting. When they keep us separate.
They shouldn’t. If you have enough conviction in your beliefs, there is nothing that should be able to shake them. It is nothing but fear that causes us to look at the viewpoints of others with loathing and the refusal to understand.
It is important, in my opinion, to have your beliefs challenged. It will teach you which your strongest convictions are, and also – help you shed beliefs that you took on without ever realizing why.
I challenge you, as I am challenging myself, to take the time to look at people and try to understand, not just that they are different, but why they believe what they believe. If you cannot agree, if you cannot accept their belief systems, then maybe at least we can learn to accept that these difference are not something that makes them bad, or makes them wrong; it just shapes their reality differently from ours.
Why? Because it’s fascinating to see what the realities of the other humans in this world are made of. Because for a moment, when you are contemplating possibilities, whether you choose to believe them or not, your reality shimmers, changes, adapts. And with it, whether you realize it or not, so do you. When you are open, you are able to resist the urge to judge, to condemn, to hate without reason. When you are open, and willing to share your convictions, and witness those of others – you are conquering fear.
Maybe then, when you look at me, you won’t just see someone who believes in aliens and government conspiracies. Maybe you won’t judge me as lost or condemned because my religious beliefs don’t conform to yours. Maybe you’ll see another person, born on the same planet as you, with a heart and a soul.
As I hope to see you.