Sunday, May 30, 2010

Belief is a powerful thing.

It's the middle of the night again and I'm pondering all of life's ponderables.

Belief and what people can achieve simply by believing in something is pretty amazing (and scary in some cases).
Certainly all sorts of crimes against humanity can be laid at the feet of people who believe in certain religious or political tenets. The same can be said in the reverse, the various beliefs have saved numerous lives.

I'm all for people believing in something positive, be it faith or science or any other number of things. I think it enriches the world we live in. The more you find out about what other people believe the more amazing the world becomes.

Some situations will leave you gaping open mouthed, when you meet someone with beliefs that are contrary to your own. Keeping an open mind and remembering to ask why they believe something ought to lead to a grater understanding of humanity.

I've been guilty of being confounded by some beliefs. Some that are so foreign to my own that I've been left wondering how we could have grown up in the same world. High school Art History taught me to examine what was going on in the artists life while they were producing pieces of art. Uni taught me to apply it to peoples beliefs. What physical, emotional, political and religious stresses were active in an individuals life, to create the beliefs that they held? There are things that I have trouble wrapping my head around even keeping those things in mind.

I hate not being able to understand. I find it frustrating to the max! I like the world to be a + b = c, even if it's abheiosnd + jnadoifh = jklajdsfighlkanfvihewrn. It's when another culture applies a different set of mathematics that I'm stuck. I suppose simply because I've never been taught anything similar enough to be able to draw a comparison to my own life.

It's a bit like describing a colour to a blind man over the telephone when they speak a different language to yourself. Where do you begin?  Certainly given enough time you might be able to figure something out...but how many people have the time or patience for that?

I've also been confounded by beliefs that have come from a background very similar to my own, and been hurt by my lack of seeing misunderstandings before they happen. Hindsight is all very well, but it certainly doesn't dull the ache of a raw wound. Nor does hindsight necessarily enable the understanding when the system forming the basis of belief is so contrary to your own.

Hmmm, this post has degenerated from what started as a hopeful topic on the power of beliefs into a confused maze tackling the human psyche, and how frustrating I find it when the world doesn't follow along the lines that I've prescribed to it. Obviously my own beliefs fall short of being able to explain the whole world, and finding an answer to it is incredibly frustrating to me. When this happens I'm left wondering if anything that I believe is founded on anything solid...which is a shame because the belief that things will get better if I just hold on long enough, is the glue that keeps me together.

The world is a rich place even though there aren't answers to everything, and I can enjoy that most of the time. Having something to believe in is important, because it keeps you going day to day.
Understanding others beliefs is often frustrating, but rewarding when you manage it. 

Tonight I'm going to bed frustrated though.
Cheers Kate 

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