Many of my friends say, “To believe in an afterlife without proof is foolish. It’s tantamount to a fairy tale”. And those who believe in the prerequisite of an afterlife – a God or a higher power – are also living in a “fairy tale” land.
I have a dear friend whose religious beliefs have evolved quite interestingly. He is the son of a Christian minister and he himself was a minister. But, after a series of events, he decided he didn’t believe in God. He now declares himself a humanist. Dedicated to helping others, being kind, and sharing all because it is the best and healthiest way to live life. This is now his humanist doctrine.
This same friend recently questioned how I could remain a believer amidst all the daily atrocities in this world. How could I remain in the “fairy tale”?
My answer was simple. I know and believe people to be fallible. But I also know and believe that there exists a God, a higher being, who maintains absolute faith in our greater good. Even when our fallibility manifests in horrific ways.
Every world atrocity could dilute our faith in a greater good or a higher being. But every act and receipt of love, benevolence, and generosity can restore it. Can strengthen our faith. And, at least for me, provide reassurance that there is a relentless force at work. A God who believes in our humanity without a doubt.
So, I suppose my faith ultimately serves to move me towards more love, benevolence, and generosity. To do work that plants hope and inspiration throughout my community. Because, like the God who I believe in, I trust that within all of us is a desire to be and do good. A good that will prevail.
We need not all subscribe to a single religion. We need not all pray to the same God. What we need is to live a productive life. A life that is driven by love, compassion, kindness, and empathy. That is the ultimate point.
My hope this week is that we all firm up our belief in ourselves, each other, and this world. And work to ensure each other’s well-being. Because, whether you believe it matters in this life or the next, to love one another unconditionally has an immeasurable impact. One that exists beyond any one person, or any mortal or fairy tale world.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love.
-Asher Gottesman, CEO & Founder of Transcend Recovery Community