Somewhere between our youthful commitment to whatever lifestyle our parents raised us with and a midlife crisis, most college students put the idea of religion behind them. Succumbing to an authority figure, with its rules and regulations, and lack of tangible force doesn‘t fit well in the schema of our college lives.
It‘s too easy to dismiss religious people as illogical or against science, especially with all the blood, extremists and evangelists attached with the concept of a religion these days. But there are the more personal, private reasons someone might commit themselves to a faith, and I believe at one point or another these reasons can draw any of us to some religion.
While recognizing that an omnipotent being might not exist, rationally exerting a well-intentioned faith to help you in rough times can be psychologically beneficial and almost necessary at some point in our lives. And since the end for some of us (i.e: graduation) is sooner than it is later, these thoughts might be relevant for those people who fear beginning the rest of their lives.
Generally speaking, most college students have had some sort of structure guiding their lives from an early age. Starting with a family, then school, then university, then internships, jobs and full circle again to a family structure. We are used to having someone looking out for us, someone whom we can refer to for direction.
What happens when any reliable, comforting source of structured guidance is gone? The reality is that parents eventually die; we graduate from college and get stuck in some job working to pay bills and mortgage.
We usually have some guiding entity that we can refer to but suddenly, we‘re adults.
After striving our entire lives for autonomy, independence and freedom from anything else, we‘ll find that, rather than our oyster, the world is a huge weight on our shoulders. We‘re all expected to be responsible, well-socialized people at this point but the transition between the shallow end and the drop off can be overwhelming. This is where I think religion might come in. Besides the fanatic stuff we see in Jesus Camp and FOX News‘ representation of the Middle East, I think eventually religion can be a comforting buffer between ourselves and a harsh reality.
Clearly this is all speculation, but the idea of the future is vast enough to contemplate every possible perspective of it. And I think religion is the furthest from our college student minds. The idea of some benevolent being that loves you and wants you to be happy can be comforting when you feel like Karl Marx was too right (ha, and in that he‘s even more right).
But I have to make a point that I do not completely agree with the normal sense of a religion. The Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions (whether you like it or not, those three go together) have an inherent tendency to include some, namely those that succumb to their perfected notion of God, and exclude those who do not.
I hope that we, this newer generation of conscious-minded people, can be aware of the positive aspects of religions and combine it with modern-day ideology that is more accepting and open than it was, oh say around 2009 years ago.
It‘s important to turn to religion, if at all, for bettering yourself and finding motivation and peace. Using it to bring others down or to build more barriers makes your faith no different than that of the KKK. And no one likes the KKK.
SARA KOHGADAI is starting her own all-encompassing, all-inclusive religion. Sorry, this does not include the KKK. Join her at email@example.com.