Of Religion And Respect

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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.

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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?

26 comments:

  1. If religion remains a personal affair, never taken out to the public spaces, it will be ok. In the public, it is no more about spirituality but identity, power games and other affairs.

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  2. I completely agree with you. Why does it matter what your caste is? Why is it more important than being a good person. I am amused by few members in my family. Being a Bramhin I listen to crap about how I shouldn't do this or that because our shastras are against it. I find all that ridiculous. I believe in God mind you, not just the God people have created and use for their hidden agendas. People need to learn to be a good human before they demand respect. Age is not equal to respect.

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    1. I'm so glad you echo my thoughts.

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  3. Hey Soumya...

    Just hoping that you have not forgotten me by now. :P Well, I am to blame if you have as I have been off the blogging world for more than a year now.

    Just returned to your blog to find something which made me feel as if I had just finished writing it. Only that this is a lot better. :-) I keep on encountering people who demand respect. And I am reminded by the true sense of respect every evening when I wave a bye to the elderly security guard who is deputed at the basement parking of our hospital. (And guess what... he takes care of the 5 dogs who live in the basement too :-) )

    Do you remember reading my post on respect long ago ? Just take a look if you hadn't. http://mindzpeak.blogspot.in/2014/04/blog-post.html

    I have almost similar views about religion which I have been thinking of writing down in a post. Will surely do once I get back to blogging in a couple of month's time. Will keep visiting. :-)

    Cheers !

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    1. Hey Shobhit, long time :)

      God bless that security guard! Get back to writing soon, all the best :)

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  4. You spoke my heart, my dear heart! I pretty much grew up being taught all kinds of things, but soon realized, over the years that most of it does not hold good. Religion is one of my pet hate topics. Rituals are fascinating from a distance, but most of them are so illogical it is crazy. My religion is kindness and love.

    In spite of being from an orthodox family, my Mom and I made it a point to be as conscious of doing the kind thing as possible. In fact, she insisted that when she passed away, we shouldn't get into the hamster wheel of death rituals; rather, donate her body to a medical college, and donate any money we wished to orphanages. Which is exactly what we did, much to the annoyance of family members. Nobody talks to me now :) I am enjoying the peace.

    Hugs!

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    1. Illogical to the tee they are I tell you!

      Ah I know that kind of peace. Isn't it so wonderful? :)

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  5. With you there! I believe in God and a power that takes care of us but I am not religious. I believe in God of all religions. Rituals, too many restrictions in the name of God put me off. Respect - one gets what one gives.

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  6. So do I.. It's the karma that comes first and that should be what everyone's religion should be. Judging people on the basis of their caste, religion, looks etc is only absurd.
    Everyone is fighting to make their and meet their ends and that is what calls for respect.

    Cheers

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  7. My Mom is very religious and even spends a lot of money on Godmen and the like and Papa is just the opposite. My Hubby's prayer is 'Loka Samastha Sughino Bhavanthu' and does not go to church unless it is Easter or Christmas during which I drag him there. However he does not speak ill of others, works very hard and is very respectful of everyone which I find immensely cute so I dont want to change him by imposing anything on him. I pray every single night before going to bed and it is a number of Thank Yous' like you said.Both boys participate in few minutes of prayer. If it goes beyond couple of minutes, both will go their way, and this I know.

    I am more mature than many people double my age and I can prove it. There are people who have hurt me but I did not hurt them back. I have had opportunities to argue with people but I only spoke respectfully and mildly. I know senior citizens who curse and fight with their own family. I know people much older than me and have many kids who cant differentiate right from wrong. There are too many such people in this world !! It has been tough to stay calm when verbal abuse was hurled at me but staying calm gave me a sense of pride. That is what I call maturity.

    Excellent post!

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    1. Excellent comment sister! :)

      I'm glad that there are mature people like you in this world.

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  8. "People have clearly got the concept of religion and respect wrong in our country. The former is something that shouldn't exist..." - quite a strong statement, if there is one! All people have gotten these things wrong in our country? I am sure you don't mean to generalise that broadly :) If we were to really study our Indian religio-spiritual traditions, we will easily come to realise that the whole idea of "God-fearing" is alien to our cultural thought. But since we are good at taking the worst ideas from outsiders, so instead of God-loving idea of Indian religio-spiritual traditions we have shamelessly borrowed the idea of God-fearing! And also the whole idea of 'religion' per se. The English word is situated in a very different cultural framework and smacks too much of the western ideas of God, worship, organised religion etc. The Indian word is Dharma, which is not Religion at all. If anything etymologically speaking, one meaning of the root word of Religion is similar to the root word which forms the Sanskrit word Yog. But there again, the contextual meaning and expression of that meaning are much divergent. But who really cares for such important distinctions?!
    We Indians will do ourselves a big favour (and favour to the world) by studying our own cultural traditions before condemning or glorifying anything :) Just my humble opinion!

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    1. Thank you for your comment Beloo. My post was my humble opinion too! :)

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  9. I'm with you on this. Rituals seem fascinating from afar yet sometimes are so senseless or archaic that they should be junked. Besides, religion should be a private thing - each practicing his/her own beliefs. As for respect you're right again - it should come from within. It definitely cannot be demanded.

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    1. I'm glad you are with me on this dear Santa :)

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  10. This makes so much sense. Religion has only one purpose , to divide us today. I believe it all started with a purpose but overdoing it , as you just said has ruined everything..

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  11. I felt myself sitting nodding and smiling reading through your post dear friend. I couldn't agree more! So many bad things have been done in the name of religion. I think belief is quite similar all over the world, and more a part of culture. We should always be humble to other ways of thinking. "Believe,say and do what you like as you do not harm other human beings" Oh yes, we are on the same planet dear Soumya - awesome read:-)

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    1. Thanks for reading Eli. I hope one day I get to meet you :)

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  12. I am not against the existence of religion, but I feel that there should be freedom to religion (not just on paper), and it is essentially an individual's personal belief system, which should not be flaunted as a guard of honor, nor should it be mocked. People should have regard for other's religious sentiments even if they are different from their own. Actually people should have regard for other's sentiments (religious or not). Period. That is just basic human courtesy.

    Having said that, I have no idea where the age/respect correlation came from, but it is ridiculous! Respect should be commanded, not demanded.

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    1. Your take makes sense too. As long as everyone has their freedom, it does not matter.

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  13. Some people have their hands out because they can get something put into it, but I believe most folks that are out of work would love nothing better than a good job that supports them and theirs, puts food on their table and gives them a measure of self respect.

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Care to leave a word or two? Thanks for dropping by :)