I’m not terrifically religious.

OK scratch that, I’m really not religious at all and I’m not sure I ever was. I certainly don’t come from a religious family; there are some members who have their beliefs, but we are very much a live and let live group of people.

As I get older, I struggle increasingly with the whole idea.  I stop myself from delving too far into analysing why that is because something in my psyche recognises that it’s a subject I could quite easily drown in.

I respect faith in others.  That authentic style of faith that isn’t judgemental, the kind that gives people an inner strength and helps them overcome life’s many hurdles.  Yes I respect, and envy that a bit. But I just don’t have one scrap of it. These days when I go to church (and it’s not often that I do…I think Christingle was the last time and that was obviously for the jelly babies kids) I feel almost fraudulent, like I shouldn’t be there, as if when I mouth the hymns something about the way I don’t sing them screams “She is sooooo not a believer”.

But here’s ‘the thing’, I do believe in something.  I believe in People.  I believe in Karma and I’d like to spend a lot more time looking into the whole idea of collective consciousness.  I quite like the thought that we will one day evolve from our human form obsessed with looks and possessions into an altogether more virtual ‘being’….like Twitter without keyboards and with infinite API.

I have a basic faith in the goodness of human nature, and yes, I am terribly idealistic.  This is despite being horribly cynical at times, far too sensitive for my own good,  and winning Miss Analytical 2000-2010 unopposed.

What I do like about the idea of religion is the sense of community it brings.  What I don’t like (and I know I’m being polar, but I’m trying to move on) is when these communities rise up against one another.

I don’t think that being apathetic to religion is an excuse for general apathy.  I actually think it means you need to try a bit harder, to work at forming a non-denominational community with no parameters, which finally brings me onto my point….

I watched a slush-puppy of a film some years ago.  A film that has stayed with me ever since.  It introduced a new phrase into my vocabulary and modelled a template for living that I thought had real potential.  Yes, it’s ‘only’ a film but ideas like this, whist idealistic and utopian in their vision, are where good things start.

The film was Pay it Forward. It was based on a book by Catherine Ryan Hyde, here’s a website all about it.

The idea was simple. You help me and I Pay It Forward by helping three other people. Then they each help three others….and so on….simples.

Why not? You tell me that….

Here’s a clip with a very cute child actor explaining the theory in more detail.  Watch the film, with Minstrels and tissues, and I defy you a) not to cry and b) not to come away feeling hopeful for what we ‘could’ achieve together.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvbgetKzrmA&feature=related]

I don’t think it has to be ‘big’ things by the way.  It can be small, simple things.  The minutiae that makes a difference to someone but no one else would ever notice. Just taking the time to stop and think, enquire, listen, reach out….you get the idea.

Losing my religion….
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14 thoughts on “Losing my religion….

  • April 12, 2010 at 3:51 pm
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    I LOVED that film and thought the idea was the best ever. I often use the phrase now myself and hear a lot of others using it too, and its lovely to hear:) Mind you, never in relation to lending someone a car, but the little things are just as important:) Jen.

  • April 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm
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    that looks like a great film, *adds it to list of films to watch* great idea too

  • April 12, 2010 at 6:09 pm
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    I’m with you on this one. We sometimes go to church, because I was brought up sometimes going to church and our children have been christened, but I feel guilty when I’m there incase someone is going to out me. I even feel guilty that I’ve just written church with a little c. But I don’t come from a super religious background. I also believe in something, can’t quite imagine that there isn’t some sort of ‘architect’, that this all happened purely by accident. But I don’t believe in a beardy God. I also like to think that humans are essentially good, or at least have the potential to be good. And that this current obsession that people have with aquistion cannot go on without destroying us all. Shall we start a new religion? I know just the person to front it… #starmancansavetheworld

  • April 12, 2010 at 7:06 pm
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    Religion is very dividing as the world will tell you. I don’t claim to be hugely religious either but I do believe in God and I have my own particular beliefs which veer towards a paranormal thinking and what some may class as demonic. But that’s just me. We’re all different!

    CJ xx

  • April 13, 2010 at 12:05 am
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    It is lovely to hear it being used more, she’s a very clever lady. No car lending here either, but y’know, baby steps 😉 x

  • April 13, 2010 at 12:06 am
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    Thanks Livi, it’s a gorgeous film. Completely soppy, but unashamedly so 🙂

  • April 13, 2010 at 12:06 am
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    I’m concerned, and I think rightly so. To clarify then, it’s a CULT that you’re talking about here? x

  • April 13, 2010 at 12:07 am
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    All different indeed CJ, and that’s a great thing. Demonic? Surely not…. xx

  • April 13, 2010 at 7:48 am
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    ‘….like Twitter without keyboards and with infinite API.’ you are such a geek ha ha ha.

    I’ve never seen the film but i love the idea of pay it forward! Brilliant! what a fabulous way to live life. i’m with you on the whole religious thing, i have no religion and yet something about the idea of a like minded community is appealing. a pay it forward community would be super. How wonderful to live ion a world where you knew that people would help you and others, where you reach out and help others. It would take away so much of the stress of life, donät you think?

  • April 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm
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    I’ve always been a believer in a pay-it-forward mentality and the “little as I have, I share with you” way of living. Ironically “pay it forward” was a phrase I was introduced to as a child by an Anglican minister (a man who has since left his wife for another man and then last year was charged with posessing and distibuting child pornography). But I loved the film too.
    This concept is one many churches have embraced even before the movie made it popular. However whether the paying it forward has spread beyond the church congregation in many cases is doubtful as communities (of any kind) tend to stick together.
    My main issue with The Church (by which I mean most organised religions) these days – and historically – is the way they tend to forget about human experience in favour of dogmatic curriculim. But I’m a believer and I hope to help affect change.

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