I have pledged to complete the Ralph Waldo Emerson 30-Day Self-Reliance Writing Challenge. The prompt and my entry for Day 3:
It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it? (Author: Buster Benson)
I had a bit of a challenge deciding how to answer today’s challenge, but I think I have it figured out. I don’t consider myself to be a Christian. My closest friends and family are Christian; be they Catholic, Methodist or a variety of other faiths.
I was raised to be Catholic. I was baptized as a Catholic. And, I was confirmed as a Catholic. I went to a Catholic school for my graduate degree. I wear a ring that announces to the world (or at least the Midwest) that I went to that Catholic school and I have the same ring image on my license plate. I look like a Catholic and I may talk like a Catholic, but I don’t believe like a Catholic or imagine myself to be Catholic.
I don’t want to go into why I don’t identify as Christian here for fear of being negative or offensive. That’s my way. My belief is that you are entitled to your own beliefs whether or not I agree with them. I’m not going to attempt to convince you that you’re wrong and I’m right.
I tend to keep my mouth closed when conversation about religion comes up because I don’t see much difference between Catholics, Baptists, Muslims, Unitarian Universalists, Methodists, etc. Nearly every one of those religions, or spiritualist belief systems, focus on being kind to one another and being loyal to a greater being. Those beliefs are fair and good. That much I can believe.