I’ve concluded that I have found the purpose of Western-type, Abrahamic religion. All virtues are rooted in appreciation and gratitude which result in love and respect – one loves and respects the things one is grateful for and appreciative of. Sometimes in our lives, the wonders of the world are enough to feed and nourish our gratitude. Oftentimes, in fact they are, the world if full of so many delightful things that cater to different appetites. The joy of having friends and laughing, the joy of taking care of each other, of mingling with children. The joy of beauty, designing, creating, and appreciating it. On and on they go. The joy of knowledge. The joy of skill, of sport, of competition. The appreciation of an all-powerful god that is supposed to have gifted mankind with of all these enjoyable things can add to one’s supply of appreciable things, hence more motivation to live and work. The two can work together, intensifying one’s desire, zest, and zeal for life. Sometimes the joys of life are so excitable and satisfying by themselves that the need for a generous god is lessened. This can happen especially when one exercises humility and compassion, love. Other times people feel depressed and dark, as if nothing in life is appreciable, that life is without worth. It is during these times that these people often turn to religion to give them something to appreciate. When the mind is incapable of appreciating life itself, it may be easier to appreciate this ethereal vessel, this invisible provider of lovable things. Showing gratefulness to these gods gives life a more basic and fundamental purpose which allows people in despair to crawl out of their metaphorical pits and reachieve zest for life.
What keeps me then from school? Perhaps my history with school, what teachers and students think of me – people’s perception of me. Perhaps, my low self-esteem, which is a result of who-knows-what, and ultimately my own thoughts and frame of mind. Perhaps my lack of confidants, people who I’ve known all my life, people who I can say anything to and laugh about it. Ultimately, what can I not appreciate about school? What is it at school that lessens desire and appreciation within me? The things above are probable causes.
A few years ago I had a revelation similar to this one when I was in the bouts of depression. I coined a phrase or mantra that I repeated in my head that helped me through my troubled times – two of them actually. One was “positive perception.” I have the freedom at anytime to perceive things however I want to perceive them. I can perceive the world and any aspects positively, negatively, or neutrally. Most important at the time was what I thought about myself and what I thought that other people thought about me. What I thought about the mistakes I made. Positive perception allowed me to be much more grateful for the things I had in life – exponentially so. I truly felt so much better. I have so much to be grateful for now. Despite my below-par academic performance this year, I’m still going to be allowed to graduate high school. So long as my new GPA doesn’t affect my scholarships, I have an almost free ride to a competent university. I have the opportunity for virtually limitless knowledge, new outlets to make friends, to express myself, to meet people at an international level. I recently turned 18. And so on. Chances are you can find similar things to appreciate in your own life. Also, I can perceive the people around me positively or negatively. Sometimes, I assume that people are not my friends or don’t like me when the truth is they do. Maybe someone even loves me and I’m not paying attention to it, or I’m so centered on hating myself that I can’t perceive or even believe that somebody else really loves me. When I think about it, there really are a lot of people here who are probably my friends, but I have been perceiving the entire situation negatively – extremely, extremely negatively. Even as I type this, I have a hard time believe certain people I’ve met are willing to be my friend. It’s very hard for me actually. I have so ingrained in myself this negative image of me. This is all very difficult. But I need to remember and continue to tell myself that it is rue. People like me. Maybe they even love me. But people like me, they really like me. (Isn’t there an old movie where the main character says something like… “I’m so-and-so, I this-and-that, and besides, people like me”? I can’t remember what it’s called or exactly what he says.) Most important I need to like me. I need to perceive my life positively. And in the event that I came, I can turn to one of these gods. I can’t believe I just wrote all that. You know, it’s really stupid how some people use their gods as an excuse for hatefulness and prejudice, for exclusion and separation. The true meaning of religion is that we are all interconnected and all depend on each other in one way or another and we need to instill love and acceptance into ourselves so that we can coexist. But anyway. Time is running out. I only have about 4 more minutes to type. Quickly, the second mantra I used to use was “Don’t make assumptions.” This served as mechanism to rid my life of negative perceptions for the most part. I pray to God that I can make some positive assumptions today, and in my life. I hope this text can help someone else. It’s helped me a little. Thanks, and ttyl.