Our beliefs are diverse and nuanced; no one thinks the same way. Each mind is unique and miraculously complex. The beliefs people hold shape their perception of the world.
The question is – what do you actually believe in?
In our day to day lives, often times these are questions we overlook, we do not address or that we simply ignore. But the truth is, it is important to think about what you believe in, what you worship and idolise. What is your motivation, the thing that makes you wake up in the morning?
In our world, we have the luxury to think about existential things like what is the purpose of my life? Other people, spend their day wondering how they will get their next meal or where they will find a place to sleep. Let’s make the most of the opportunities we are given, this begins by knowing what you stand for and who you are.
Our society mostly places its purpose, hopes, and motivations into fading, unimportant things. The majority no longer believe in a higher power or God. Our beliefs are shaped by what we believe we can do out of our own strength. As long as we try hard enough, we can achieve anything. I think this is a wonderful life-motto, but it creates egocentric people who pursue their own happiness and wealth. We all believe in something, it may be a good or a bad thing.
So, for the first part of this series, I set out to investigate the views and beliefs of the students at La Châtaigneraie to discover what they truly believe in.
I received a wide range of responses to this question, some sincere, and others less so.
Question: What do you believe in?
One boy said: “I don’t believe in anything. I have trust issues, so I have no faith. I have nothing. I don’t know and I just don’t care if there is a God or if there is more to life – why would there be more? I go for science.”
Another person said “I believe in friends and family and money,” and someone else agreed with the importance of family- “I believe in a happy family.”
“I do not believe in anything. I listen to the facts, the proven facts. I am actually evangelical but I have no belief or faith in God. I find it hard to believe in things that cannot be explained 100%,” was another response.
“I believe if I would stop comparing myself to others, I would be happy with who I am.”
“I do not believe in myself.” This was an upsetting answer because it accurately represents what many teenagers feel as they mature and reflects the low confidence many young adults have in their abilities.
Another person outlined that “fundamentally humans are dissatisfied and ungrateful creatures. I believe that I must be able to appreciate what I have and who I am.”
“Morally, I believe in freedom to chose how to act, accept, and respect people. To chose how to live my life in a self-governing way. I believe in the ability to surround myself with amazing people and undertake experiences I love.”
“Things involving dogs and lizards ” is another reply I received. I do not know if this was a truthful one or not . . .
“ I believe in myself because I feel confident in my abilities. I am not scared. If someone tells me not to do something, but I think it is right, I will do it anyway.”
“The first thing that came to mind was happiness,” the fundamental right to pursue joy and be content.
“Science. I am a very fact-based human being. I have no opinions against people who do believe in God, but I prefer to have something quantitative to rely on.” For many, the belief in something tangible like science seemed more appealing than the belief in God or a higher force, underlining how important the mantra of ‘seeing is believing’ is to some.
“As a child, I was brought up as a Catholic. But, I think and believe that everyone is their own master and creates their own path and destiny. This is like the teaching of Buddhism. On a daily basis, everyone can make their own decisions and this shapes life. I do not believe that God directs us or shows us ‘a way’. I think God and religion have taught us as humans to be nice to each other and help. We learn the values and principles we live by- Godly principles. These norms and acceptable ways of behaviour were instilled in me as a child. They are good ways to live by and they get you what you want and need in life.”
“I believe that it is better to have money than not to have money. But this doesn’t mean that money makes you happy. Money provides more opportunities to live a luxurious lifestyle, for example owning a nice, big house. For some, this doesn’t equate to happiness. They need a ‘non-price thing’ that will bring them contentment.” In other words, it is up to each human being to decide if material goods bring them the joy they need and desire. Some poor people are satisfied with the little they have got, whilst others insist that if they only had a bit more money, they would finally be happy.
Now, it is your turn to answer – what do you believe in?