No one wants to be wrong, myself included. We want everything we think and believe to be right. Everyone else can be wrong, but we can not be. Here lies one of the greatest problems inherent in humanity; the quest to be right at any cost. With some things, right and wrong can be clearly defined. Regarding the rest though, it’s not always easy to come to those conclusions. Instead of pursuing the truth however, most will choose a belief and fortify their position. They create groups of like minded people and instead of looking for what the truth is, they declare war on anyone who questions their perception of truth. It’s a bloody conflict with millions of casualties and growing. Simply because we have a hard time saying to ourselves or anyone else, “I could be wrong.”
I believe it takes more courage, character and strength to be uncertain, at times. People avoid uncertainty at their own peril though. Uncertainty just means that you don’t know what the truth is. You may have an idea, but you’re not proof positive. We’ve been conditioned though to round up to the nearest denominator. If you’re only 75% sure, you round it up to 100% and vice-versa. The doubt isn’t truly expelled, only suppressed. In order to smother it, you put a lot of layers of junk on top until you can’t hear it anymore. It creates the illusion that what remains is full belief. I know how it goes, I spent most of my life suppressing my own doubts. You want to know what happened? Let me take a moment and share.
I grew up in a Christian church and was indoctrinated from an early age. By 10, I clearly knew what my religious views were. By 15, I knew what my political views were. By 18, I knew what all my social views were. I was militant in all my beliefs and anyone who challenged them became my enemy. I was driven to be right at all costs. By my early 20s though, I began to see what the cost of being right was. I lost many friends and I hurt a lot of people that I didn’t want to hurt. I was war weary and depressed beyond my capability to describe. The promises of happiness and peace were clearly lies at that point. I was lost and alone and all the doubt that I buried in the basement of my mind came rushing out.
I was disgusted of what I had become. Even more disturbing was that I wasn’t even sure why I believed so fervently the things I had. I turned over every stone, and it quickly became apparent that I really didn’t know myself very well. I made a decision to let all of my beliefs go and see what returned. 5 years later, very little came back from the ashes of who I was. Instead, who I was underneath took it’s first glimpse of sunlight after years upon years of darkness. Since that time, I have never looked back and I don’t intend to. I was a person who was told what I was; an empty shell made up of lies and broken promises. I determined to never be that person again and help anyone I could who was going through that same thing.
In my years since this life altering experience, I have had moments where I wasn’t sure what to really believe. Before, I was either full in or completely out. It took time for me to realize that sometimes it’s alright to be uncertain and it’s not the end of the world to be wrong. I try not to get hung up over beliefs, I think it’s healthier to have ideas. I do maintain a few personal beliefs, but not many. I think that beliefs are precious and should only be promoted from ideas after many years of consideration and not by outside influences pushing them in. Once it becomes a belief, it’s important then not to become militant with it. As it stands, I have enough beliefs to fit in my palm. Before though, I had so many that a war would break out over those who chose Pepsi instead of Coke. It’s ridiculous when I look back on it, it’s sad though when I see so many today in the same place I was.
While all my religious beliefs are still up for grabs, they’re are some things that I still find myself attracted too. Jesus for example was a giver. He healed people, he played with children and he took care of those around him. He felt a responsibility to the ones who followed him and he always provided for their needs. Eventually, he made a grand sacrifice for those who loved because he believed in something more than himself. His actions changed the lives of all those around him. I would personally judge it that they were changed for the better. Most of Christianity as a religion I can not support in good conscience. That’s because it doesn’t really represent the man of Jesus, who they supposedly represent. Somewhere down the line, love was replaced with hate and fear. Now it’s all agenda driven and full of venom. I am glad to have walked away from that.
While I would rather not declare who I think Jesus was, I will say that I want to be more like him sans the crucifixion part. A man who made an impact and changed the world with love? Sign me up! We should all be so lucky. You also really can’t blame him for the actions of those who eventually came after him who to screw it all up. Whatever my beliefs are though, I always leave room for error. I am not perfect and no one else is either. As the title to this entry states, “I Could Be Wrong.” I have my ideas about things, but I’m not willing to go to war over them. I will talk about them and listen to others though. When I say listen, I mean truly listen and be open. My life is so much better for it. No judgment or condemnation, it’s a great way to live and be. The best part of it all is I know who I am and what I am thinking and believe. There is no price you could put on that.
I would also like to add that believing things out of fear is never, ever a good thing. Fear is a tool of manipulation. Whether it be a god or man, if fear is the driving force behind your beliefs, then it’s time to question those beliefs and those who threaten you with them. Only evil and desperate beings with no real power use fear to control. In those circumstances, question the authority. I do encourage everyone to look at themselves though and be honest about what you see. Having doubts doesn’t make you weak, it makes you wise. In some cases, they can even strengthen your beliefs. You’re never to old to still grow.