As my dad always says, “Belief is an individual choice. You cannot force in society.” As simple as that.
A belief can take many forms. Spiritual, Religion, Political Ideologies, etc. It all matters to an individual and not as a group or in society. As long a belief impacts and inspires millions and unite as human. So here is the story of my Dad who gave a shock on the day he went to the temple for the first time in 50 years.
“Dad” is an Atheist, 45, Fair & 5.9. He is from Chennai, India. humble, calm and since the day one I know him.
“Mom” is a Theist. She is from Chennai. A Born Leader indeed. Bold & Decisive. To put out she is strong as an elephant to raise a family.
I never saw my Dad judging someone over status, intelligence or by any sort that an average human being does. He is not a savior. But that’s the way he thinks the world is. He thinks everyone is equal no matter who he/she is and what does he/she do. Sweeper, plumber, milkman, etc. Everyone deserves respect for what they do.
Back in my home, we will welcome the same way everyone regardless of their status quo. So the first thing he taught me is to break Stereotypes and Judgemental factors.
“Leave Judgements, bias and, gossips outside along with the Sandals please.”
Oh no! Rituals.
When it comes to rituals for worshipping God. I see a different side of him. He is a Dravidian follower. And Mom, well as heard she is a Theist. This part of my everyday life was & will be interesting.
For love, it’s unconditional at home. I mean Dad is a man who would share things with his son. No matter what the topic is going to be. We discussed politics, economy, news, sex education, etc. I remember one fine day, I got caught by Mom for smoking.
She was waiting for my dad to come home. He arrived. I was shit scared. And the thing which blew me off is — After mom’s 1hour of explaining “Your son did this and that” any average Father would engage in a war. Mostly physical. But what made to remember after 15years is “He didn’t even ask a single question to me on the smoking topic.” He took me for a walk and we were in a discussion, definitely not about smoking. Half an hour walk which I still remember.
“On festive season. Mom will do rituals at home. Usually goes beyond 2 hours long.”
While someone who woke up early morning 5AM to do all the rituals. Here comes a snort from my Father, who doesn’t give a sight of what is happening around. He will sleep the hell out of the earth.
Dad on the other side will be throwing disbeliefs over Spiritual. A sense of humor of my dad is way ahead than anyone in my family.
“Dad: You know all these rituals are useless and no point in doing these. Be with humans, share responsibility and help in building a healthy community.”
Mom will hear all this and leave the space for Dad’s conversation. Though she knew it is testing her rage.
Dad doesn’t pick a fight with Mom head to head. But indirectly, like a third-person comment. Mostly verbal, not on a serious note. The scene will end up seriously most. It stirs up and things start to explode.
“The battle between Mom and Dad never ends. While eating, teatime, morning, while going out and while even on traveling.”
Being raised by an Atheist and Theist since the day I born. The mind makes a me and any man to balance and think clear at critical times. I thank Mom and Dad for raising me in a balanced environment and thoughts.
..Continuing back to the story
Mom: Enough, I have been hearing and tolerating since the day I have married you. I can’t take this anymore. Better leave my son alone.
Mom: Alan, there is nothing in the world popped up without God.
Dad: Bull shit.
Rest of the battle I cannot fit it in words. Meanwhile, I’ll jump out of the scenario and go out. But if I come back to my home in the evening. Things will be normal. Both Mom and Dad will be on a daily routine like the scenario never happened. This use to surprise me a lot.
But I learned one thing.
“Two different perspectives on Belief doesn’t mean one should win over the other.“
End of the day, Mom and Dad know how to respect the Belief of others. Both don’t do politics with the Belief nor poke around. I’m glad and I owe to learn this beautiful thing from Mom and Dad.
I knew most of my debates with dudes like…
Dude: Your god is nothing. God is imaginary.
Me: Should I stop worshipping?
Dude: Yeah. you should.
Me: But, why? because you believe there is no god?
Dude. Psst. God is useless and so does your belief.
Me: Hey, listen. don’t choke your belief on someone else’s. It is up to the individual to follow or not. Stop the shit you threw up on me every single day I meet you?
The Dude went to think for a while.
Dude: But, still there is no God.
Like he gave an answer, to prove that he has an answer.
Me: That is what you believe. Should I fight with you? Nah. Because you say “No god”. I can’t pick a fight with you. I respect what you believe in. I need you to be at the same level in society.
“Not by creating useless clash over belief, religion, & rituals. You work on your stuff and try to get along with the people of your same mindset. Let’s build a better planet. Respect everyone and everything. To build a healthier future with a similar belief and mindset in human existence”
With Mom’s spiritual belief I learned many things in my life. Same goes with my Dad. “Respect and empower people to foresee a healthy society.” My parents are responsible for raising me with Rational thinking. That’s Parenting.
Meanwhile. I came back to Chennai after a 4months of work. The whole family was happy and excited. After a few days. I started to go and help my dad in his Shop. He runs a Pharmacy. One evening, my Dad said:
“I need to go to Temple.”
I was thunderstruck. I didn’t ask anything. I replied “I’ll come and drop you”?
He replied “No, I’ll go by myself.” Lookout the shop for an hour. He came back with Prasad and shared with the rest of the family.
Me: Why you went to the temple?
Dad: I still don’t believe in God. But, if I go to the temple I can be calm, focus and collected with the time I spend. There are many ways to do bring this up. For me, this is working and I don’t mind being an Atheist. I step into the temple. As long as I respect other belief’s.
Period. A statement.
I have no words to say. From that day, he stood tall in my vision. Thanks, dad. Without you, I wouldn’t have understood the pure meaning of belief.
“Belief can be in any form, thing, structure or any sort. As long as one Believe in.”
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