There is such a divide between people who have a faith, spiritual beliefs/ some kind of practice; and those who do not. A divide between adults who arguably have a “naive” and “ignorant” outlook on life and those who are accused of having a “pessimistic” and “closed off” outlook on life.
Today I will define having spiritual beliefs as those who believe that there is reasoning behind everything, that optimism is the best way to live, and that trusting that everything will be okay will bring about the best outcome.
Those who do not have faith tend to stigmatise those who do, often reluctant to hear out spiritualism as it makes no sense to them.
Those who do have faith tend to look down on those who do not have faith, whether intentional or not, out of frustration of feeling unheard or out of pity for how “lost” not having a faith seems to be making people.
For as long as we are seeing one another as being divided, we will get no where. The mission we have in life to live a happier and more free life is to open our minds and take risks. This is a two way street and we must begin seeing one another as souls who could teach us a lot.
I believe all of this comes from how we were taught obedience, and how we chose to respond to it. Hear me out.
Teaching obedience leads to rebellion either in an enlightened form of seeking truth and doing things from a place of love, or in an emotional form whereby people act out of impulse and shadow rebellion.
Obedience is a toxic and over simplified attempt to teach compassion, understanding, how to help make their own good choices. It puts a frustrating amount of pressure on the teacher, because it comes from a fear based place that the student will not obey- and it also comes from a place of trying to control, because you have a lack of trust. It is seen as the “easy” way of teaching, but in fact it just makes for a lot more hassle in the long run.
Obedience is simplifying bigger lessons in life. For example, a teacher at school may say to a child “being nice will get you more stickers”. This is meant with good intent to teach the child that being nice will bring reward, but it programs the idea of valued human interaction into being a game of “what’s in it for me?”.
With age comes exposure to less innocence, as you are less protected by those around you. All of a sudden, kindness it not rewarded by stickers or by instant gratification. You may find yourself programmed to be kind because deep down you hope that person will be kind back, or because deep down you hold his expectation that kindness will be rewarded with money or sex or things we desire as we age. We hold people to a standard they are not responsible for, we have developed a sense of entitlement.
Some will shut down and completely disregard any kind of openness as a form of protection. For example, the outlook that “kindness gets you nowhere” is spoken by people who misunderstood the concept of kindness. People who believe you act with kindness in order to get somewhere rather than for the sake of being kind.
This is not our fault, we are not bad people for this, we simply have to unlearn what we have been taught.
Spirituality teaches that we are all one. It makes sense really. The butterfly effect, economics, politics all proves that there is a ripple effect in this world. If one thing is bothered, everything is bothered as a result no matter how subtle or big the impact is. If you are kind, you drop a little bit more positivity into the ocean. It does not matter how significant as long as it all adds up, negativity breeds negativity and positivity breeds positivity. You may speak of it in terms of karma, matter of fact, metaphors, whatever. The rule of oneness still applies.
If you clear your heart armour and act from a place of wanting the best for others, you will finally begin to like yourself, like life, see more.
It is all programming. It is all how your mindset was shaped by experience.
Once you begin to treat people well for the sake of it, once you begin to be good to people who seemingly aren’t able to do anything for you just because, that is when you see the power of kindness. Kindness is happiness, it makes life feel worth living, it attracts abundance and beautiful surprises into your life. I suppose in a way kindness is done out of self gain, but not in a conventional materialistic way.
The same way, some people were raised to believe spiritualism is a certain thing (for example, some were taught strict Catholicism which can be quite restrictive and based off of the idea of punishment), and as they got older they became shut down to the idea of spiritualism because they have a preconception of what it is and do not agree to it.
I am not saying let people run riot. I am not saying you should let people get away with committing harm. I will go into this more later. You may teach safety and protection without obedience. Obedience is an outdated system which no longer works.
The key here is to not necessarily teach obedience, but instead to teach reasons behind things, teach curiosity, trust in people that their curiosity will lead them down the right path.
As we heal ourselves and learn to have compassion and good will for the sake of it, we must be conscious to pass this down to our children in a new way. Without enforcing the old fashioned idea of obedience.
Do not mistake me for introducing the idea that you should let children run wild, sticking fingers in plug sockets and starting fights with other kids without consequence. These children need to be taught, from a place of collectedness and balance- they need compassion, understanding, thought provoking guidance. We must lead by example, which is why it is so important that we heal ourselves and our own wounds before passing down our programmed beliefs that WE don’t even agree with, to our children. Wipe out angst and repressive trauma and replace it with understanding.
For example, schools have a very rigid and toxic way of teaching obedience to kids. Some children reject these policies enforcing obedience by acting out, throwing tantrums, being deviant. Others would reject these policies by simply becoming distracted and focusing on things which they are told not to- looking out of the window when they should be listening to the teacher or reading books they weren’t assigned during hours where they’ve been told to read a specific chapter of a specific book. We label these kids as having something wrong with them, being badly behaved or even labelling them as having ADHD or autism. Science has proved that these things are legitimate chemical imbalances in the brain, but we sedate these children and label their “conditions” as being a bad thing when instead they are simply breaking the norm and introducing a new kind of approach to the world. This is not a bad thing, we have a lot to learn from children.
Reject the idea that children must have a level of respect to us that we do not owe to them. Respect children as we are to be respected. If a child is running riot, about to cause harm, explain with patience why that is damaging. If a child is about to danger themselves by putting their fingers in a plug socket or getting too close to an iron, explain why that is a bad thing rather than shouting at them and belittling them. “I want you to be safe because I care about you” rather than “Do as you’re told”.
To an extent, children must learn from their own mistakes, so where it is not entirely dangerous give them freedom. Love and guidance is there when and if it is accepted. Act with love and see how things improve.