We live in a world where anyone and their mom are so quick to judge every single move you make. It has simply become a normal part of everyday life. Sure, I could write a nice long piece talking about how important it is that we change before it is too late; but plenty of those are already out there. If I am being completely honest, one more “be nice” article is not going to change anything, it is our actual actions that will. Don’t get me wrong! I have even written a similar piece before, maybe even two or three. The idea is nice of course but… oops I am getting off on a tangent. Where were we? Right! I think that religion especially has become a touchy subject.
Before I continue, you need a little background. I was born and raised being taught the morals of a certain church. I certainly was not a model child for the faith, I was not a model child in any aspect really. Thankfully, my family is great and my parents have come leaps and bounds. Having a child now, my husband and I have been faced with the decision on how we would like to raise our little girl. While I was a bit rebellious, I am thankful for my religious background. It helped to teach me morals and limits (even though I did not necessarily always follow through with them). I am not naive in knowing that children can certainly be taught to be good people without going to church. There is evidence of that daily everywhere I go. The only problem is that I have never been in those shoes on either side. As silly as it sounds, I do not know how to play those cards.
I consider myself to be spiritual, but not religious. By no means does that mean that I am against any religion (even though I spent too long loathing the one I grew up in). I respect them all in their uniqueness and the fact that they can better the people that they are right for. However, I worry constantly about unintentionally forcing my values onto my daughter. I worry that she will not feel able to chose a religion if one feels right to her because her mother does not attend, there are no roots in her family, or even because it is the one her mother grew away from. Basically, I worry about doing the exact thing that I hope to avoid.
How do I stop one of my greatest fears from happening? I let her choose. I educate her from a young age. I teach her to be open minded, and I expose her to the many forms of faith and religion out there. What else could I do? I will not tell her that she is not allowed to pick a religion because that is what I *so far* have done. I will not tell her that she must become the religion that her extended family believes in. She has her own individual personality and feelings, and what feels right to her is what feels right to her. Nothing more, nothing less. It does not change who she is as a person. If I can help her find something that will help her to thrive as a human being? That is what I will consider a success.
Now I certainly am not pushing this idea on anyone. We live in a wonderful and diverse world and I am no one to suggest what others should do other than teaching their little ones to be good humans. That is what we all hope for as parents right?
Rounding it back up to the beginning, we will be judged for whatever we do, I simply suggest you rock what you are doing and do not apologize for it.