Over the years we all go on a journey, in one way or another, that deepens what we believe in. It’s interesting to live in a world that has many different theories and belief systems, and there are a handful that fascinate me. Trying to define what you believe does not always come easily, but I’ve found that I feel more at peace within myself if I try to figure it out.
When I was studying my GCSEs, one of the subjects I took was Religious Studies – mostly because I loved the teacher, who coincidentally left the summer before my GCSEs started! I really enjoyed the way the curriculum was set out, though, and grew to love debating the various issues through essays. Even though it was ‘Religious Studies’, we looked at many different points of views and were encouraged to think about our own viewpoints as well. One topic I vividly remember studying was conception, contraception, and abortion – and all the many points of views that religions have on it. I won’t stray too far into this topic, but it did open my eyes, as a 15-year-old, to begin considering all the different perspectives around the world and it certainly broadened my own perspective. Looking back, I do feel lucky to have grown up in the UK, and to have had teachers who pushed us to think about issues that affect people all around the world. Living in London, I have always been exposed to the complexity and vibrancy of many different cultures, and I feel grateful for that.
At that young age, I still couldn’t completely explain how I felt about my place in this world. I often went back and forth between describing myself as atheist and agnostic. These days it’s still not that much clearer, and whilst I tend to describe myself as an atheist, I do respect others belief. However, I think I confuse some people – perhaps even myself – because I believe in the Universe.
I feel like we are all children of the Universe, and that we are loved. I guess I am a bit of a hippie. I believe in love. I believe in empathy. I believe that we are all united, even when it seems like we are divided. I believe in kindness. I believe in the Universe.
Somewhere along the way, without really knowing when or how it happened, I began to think that some things happen for a reason that we can’t explain. Not everything, but some things. While I have learned of the cruelty and unfairness of the world, there are still moments of pure beauty that take my breath away. I experience connections with others that I do not even know how to explain, and yet I feel like some people are placed in your life on purpose.
Whenever I find my way back to myself, I feel like a light guides me, and even when the light sometimes comes from within, there is still a soft sense of guidance when you offer yourself to the world.
I believe in people, and I believe that when we work together we can create great change. Believing in something bigger than yourself – no matter what it is – helps you to feel less alone in this world, and when you embrace your belief with kindness and compassion towards others, you are helping to make the world a better place. There is no right or wrong.
I would happily wear flowers in my hair every day. It’s all about peace, and love, man.