As a child I have never feared God. Since my parents were not very religious, they did not impose it on us. Growing up, I rarely visited temples or any religious places. The concept of God was not something I believed in, but as a child I was fascinated by it. When you are young and you see a religious function going on in your neighbor's house but not yours it is only natural to be awed by it. This continued for a long long time. But a few years ago, it all came crashing down. Religion is something that I have no clue about and it doesn't matter to me if a person is a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian or any thing else. But when people start talking trash in the name of religion and clearly put down a few people, it gets on to me. I'm not an atheist, but I see God as a super power. My only prayers are a humble 'Thank You' for all that I have.
Earlier, I used to be so fascinated by the various pujas, prayers, mantras and shlokas. Mainly because I did not know what they were. But a few years ago when I saw an overdose of these, I knew that they were not significant at all. I saw people trying to desperately please God to get something in return. Blind beliefs wiped away common sense and people were just following a non-existent legacy that had clearly failed. I did not want to be a part of the hoopla. My fascination died down pretty soon and I chose to stay away from it. I believe in working hard to get something and thank God for giving me the strength to do it. I did not want to be part of that cult who sat praying to God all day expecting results without lifting a finger.
There still are so many people who drown themselves in religion and caste. Today man has reached the moon and is targeting other planets and yet there are a few people out here who are drawing boundaries around them and other religions. The first thing that they want to know about a person is their religion or caste. And then perceptions are built and expectations laid. I find it so ridiculous. They think that ABC things only belong to a Christian/Muslim household so a Hindu must not have them. Even before the sex of the child is revealed his/her religion is thrust upon them. And he/she is expected to be the flag bearer of it and pass it on to the future generations. All in the name of religion and a faceless God. For me, humanity is the only religion.
I have absolutely no respect for people who over do things. Including faith. As we grow up we are taught to respect people who are elder to us. Thankfully, I grew up and unlearnt this. Yes, certain elders do deserve respect, but not all. Have you come across a person who demands respect instead of earning it? Yeah, the world is filled with many morons like this. I like people who have done something for themselves. And irrespective of age, I would respect them. I cannot respect a person who cannot make a living for themselves. I have absolutely zero regard for someone who has all their organs and limbs in place and has not bothered to earn a penny. I have no respect for people who depend on someone else for everything. I immensely respect my juniors at work. They are much more than what I was at their age. It is something that is definitely worth appreciating.
I don't know why people still associate respect with age. Suppose a sixty year old is an alcoholic and creates havoc every time, are we still expected to respect him? For me, respect comes with deed and not with age. And I don't even hide this fact. I might not talk about it on their face and ill treat them. That is my decency. But there is absolutely no respect from within. I don't respect them, but I will not dis-respect them either. I respect the uneducated security guard who looks after the street dog, and not the lady who sends him out to do her chores. I respect the maid who comes in everyday to wash clothes, and not the owner who doesn't allow her in certain areas of the house. I respect the man who does odd jobs to make a living for his family and not the person who hires him and mocks him. I respect anyone who is doing something good for himself and for others and not the ones who are merely watching. People who beg for respect deserve to be laughed at. Also, respect is a two way street.
People have clearly got the concept of religion and respect wrong in our country. The former is something that shouldn't exist and the latter is something that shouldn't be demanded.
So tell me, what is your take on the two?