Justus is a freelancer, content writer and English teacher. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree and TESOL certificate in 2020.
We Should All Follow Our Own Convictions
James Nielsen's Lyrics Have Always Inspired Me
"Give up a little, gain a little peace. Empty yourself, become eternity."
— James Nielsen (of Senses Fail)
I Found Faith on My Own, But I Had Some Help
As a young boy, I was baptized, raised as a Catholic and forced to attend CCD (the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, a religious program). I always felt that I was pressured to believe in God, and despite my attempts to resist confirmation and communion, I was formally accepted into the Catholic church. I know that so many people, at some point in their lives, have felt how I felt (or may even be going through something similar at this exact moment).
Without getting too into religious politics, I admit that it can be easy to see corruption (especially when coming across individuals who take statements from the bible literally and who use their religion as a scapegoat to judge others). However, as I've aged, I've also come to realize (or have at least formed my own, strong opinion) that for some, spirituality and religion can be excellent way to cope with life's hardships.
Some believe in neither heaven nor hell while others have faith in one or the other, both or something else entirely. Some of life's most debated, pressing and argued questions may never be answered. Even scientifically, and for as long as humans exist, there will always be more questions concerning the universe and the world we live in.
Despite this, and regardless of what one believes, I think it's important to show empathy and respect toward one another - if not for our unique contributions, simply for our inherent value as human beings. By doing so, I believe that the world will be a better place. There are so many who must realize that regardless of one's religious or spiritual belief, or lack thereof, a person can still be an upstanding and honorable human being.
Too often, in life, we let prejudice get in the way. And it's understandable that even people with great intentions are sometimes hyperaware of others who are different than them. I think this is due to a number of factors but is generally because of how badly society and the media portray underrepresented groups.
As time has passed, and now that I'm nearly 30 years old, I've become a much more spiritual person. While I don't necessarily adhere to any particular religion, the poem, In the Name, elaborates on my personal belief that God is within each and every one of us. If there is a God, I think they live in our strength, convictions, and in who we are: in our soul.
Furthermore, it's worth noting that every single member of my family, in my eyes, is an inherently good person, even if many make decisions that I don't agree with. While being raised, my Catholicism complimented the good moral values that were instilled in me instead of fighting against it. So despite not agreeing with it years ago, and even now (for the most part), I am extremely fortunate to have been raised in an overwhelmingly supportive and unconditionally loving environment.
- I hope you enjoy my poem, In the Name. It was composed sometime prior to 2019, though I am unsure of the exact composition date.
In the Name
unsure of the presence
of a supreme being
(or at least as some envision:
the zealots and the scholars),
yet nonetheless determined
to exist in peace,
as we forgive
and our neighbors
in the name of Love.
Life is Full of These Moments
"Be not Afraid of anything. You will do Marvelous work. It is Fearlessness that brings Heaven even in a moment."
— Swami Vivekananda
© 2022 Justus Reinhardt