Do you believe in God?

Can you count the number of times you were asked with this innocent question?

I tried to think and analyze the “motivation” behind this question, considering why people are so intrigued to hear my answer when putting me on the spot. Is it really that important for others to know what Oren have to say about God? I can’t ignore the simple fact that religion is a huge cornerstone in our life and finding more people with similar believes give us great comfort and sense of power. People are looking for acceptance, to become part of a group they can define and feel “right” in. This is a social aspect that is common to almost everything we do in life (love, friends, work, faith etc). I already know all of that and so do you. So, where am I going with this?

I’m trying to muse with the the notion of acceptance and where do I fit in. What is my “do you believe in God” question?

Personally, It’s striking me as plain crazy that our life is so driven to into what I grasp as the “wrong” groups. Do you believe in God? Do you eat Kosher food? Do you fast at Yom Kipor? Are you rightist? And the list goes on and on. Are these the questions we should really ask ourselves? is these how we want to measure ourselves or find others to connect with? I’m not sure I know the answers, but I feel there are some deep feelings, clear ideas and emotional borders that I’m so passionate about, they must represent my scales. They must represent my inner truth. Writing allow one to shoot ideas and thoughts on paper, so I tried to explain myself my truths. Hopefully it will give me a common ground to fit myself into a world I truly believe in and measure myself about what I see as right. Trying to synthesize my list, I came up with the 3 questions I have definite feeling of, (but) these are only my big questions so read it with the appropriate suspicion:

  1. Are you making someone else proud?
    I’m blessed with the best parents one can wish for and the greatest family one can be born into. The best thing they have done for me is giving me their complete trust, always stating how much faith they have in me making the right call. It was really hard for me to mess things up with that kind of love and support. Make sure that you’ve got someone in life that you can make them proud, may it be your parents, family, girlfriend, close friend or the girl from the cafeteria. “I’m proud of you” is huge empowerment and it’s a constant motivator to drive your life beyond the easy and all-so-common mediocrity. This source should be your impregnable place for positive enforcement, keeping you down to earth and posses the right confident to make tough choices in life.

    Be careful not to confuse making one proud with making one satisfied. You must own your path thus there is no place for blind acceptance. You need someone that trust your best efforts and push you forward in your struggles.

  2. Do you see yourself as a good person?
    Let’s avoid the definition of good for a second as it doesn’t really matter. Although some of us really cynical about the meaning (and with no doubt some are plain bad), we all know that Mother Teresa is a good soul. The pure notion of bad and good is embedded deep inside us. Try to be truthful to yourself, do you see yourself as a good person? how would you define good? Do you think you can measure “how good” are you? Do you think it’s important? Are you doing what it takes to get “better”? does it get easier to look at the mirror?

    You can call me what ever you might feel, but there is a romantic notion behind “being good”. The way I see it, my time here is limited so my constant question is “what am I going to leave behind?”. I would like to think that I’ve touched some people during my short life, that I managed to teach something as my great family and friends have taught me. I’m not sure that I made a great change (or even a small one), but at least I feel I did the best I can do with my believe of sincere communication. I’ll never be Mother Teresa, but at least I’ll do the best I can with what I feel is right for me, trying to focus on my strength and talent to make others picking their brain and wonder about themselves. Being there for others will make you feel less alone, less “on a road to nowhere”. What do you have to lose?

  3. Is there a way for you to help others?
    Do you feel lucky? If you do, you played your cards right somehow. Is there a way for you to show your tricks to the world? to make others think of a different way to look at things? Helping others makes a great closure between making others proud and making you feel as a good person. It’s a powerful tool you should use wisely. The purpose is not the “convert” someone into your believes or trying to bring him into your “group”. One should reach his own right and wrong, you can only help him by asking the right questions and trying to share your thoughts and experience. This way you are part of the journey, part of a legacy in other’s life. This is a great accomplishment to leave behind you.

The order of the questions is important. Without making others proud and have their support it’s impossible to be highly motivated all the time. Without constant motivation you won’t allow yourself to grow into the person you can become, making it easier to avoid helping others and seeking for the “wrong kind” of acceptance. Giving up is easy, fitting in just for the sake of acceptance will not make you happier (at least for long).

Don’t allow yourself to give up just because you were born to the wrong environment, that you had troubles as a child or you feel just like the world is against you. The world don’t owe you anything, you can blame your luck, your God (or lack of it) but bottom line it’s really up to you. Don’t hurt others to pay back to your awful sense of luck. Find your positive people around you and let them pick you up when needed, there is no shame of needing others help, they would love to do so in order to feel good about themselves and making others proud. You’ll do the same for them one day, I promise you that.

Everyone who knows me are familiar with my reiterative phrase “I firmly believe in natural growth”, this rule apply here as well. Find your own sources of strength and make sure that you keep your “good standards” before trying to influence others to ponder about their path in life. Once you have the confidence in your answers, you’ll be ready to open your view to the world and see what it has to offer.

Do I believe in God?
We’re probably ants in a giants world, but is it really matter? I would like to think that this God cares more about us as living being, trying to grow together than following strict rules without understanding the real truth behind them. Isn’t this the all purpose of the bible? of the stories we are taught since we were born? I wish our discussions would address more of the “are we doing the best we can?” and “how can we make it better?” rather than such a superficial scratch of our real purpose.

I would love to hear what is your truth and which questions drive you in your path. Drop me a comment if you feel like sharing.


Oren Ellenbogen