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Time for thoughts…

February 16, 2012

I can’t express how meaningful this is to me.

Living here in Minnesota, coming from such a secular country as Norway, really puts things into perspective when it comes to religious matters.. The college I attend is Lutheran (a college I love, though!) and I must say I have never been in a place where Christianity is so cherished and such a big part of so many people’s lives (I’m almost surprised that this isn’t the heart of the Bible Belt).

I have encountered many interesting situations and debates here when it comes to beliefs and perspectives on life and religion, and I must say I’ve learned so much about both myself and others. I was very surprised to learn how little even my own peers in such a good college knew about other religions but their own! As in my religion class my third semester here; many opinions appeared to me as very closed minded and unreflective, and were clearly based out of inexperience and ignorance.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think being religious is wrong; I just wish more people explored and challenged their beliefs, rather than just accept things blindly without reflection and mindfulness.  By challenging your own faith and beliefs and by exploring other’s beliefs with wonder, you might even gain greater insight in your own spirituality and gain a greater appreciation of your own faith.

I consider myself non-religious (not atheist, which is a much too often drawn conclusion by that statement), but if I am attracted to anything, it ought to be Buddhism’s ideology of living in the present, being mindful and compassionate. There is too much unnecessary hatred and judgements made out of ignorance and fear out there, and sometimes I wish people would take a second look at themselves before drawing conclusions about others.

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