This isn’t what you might think. This isn’t some public declaration to discredit God or those who believe in Him. Stay with me here because it’s not about that.
I want to talk about the way we treat people, the words we use and our actions. The reasons we are who we are….who we say we are and who we want to be, and why these things are important. Because you see, I don’t believe God can or should be that reason. Not that it’s wrong to want to please Him but that He shouldn’t be the motive behind our existence. It’s not genuine. We exist anyway. We should be kind and compassionate and honest anyway. We should be generous and supportive and as empathic as possible, regardless of whether or not He exists.
I don’t care about your status or job title or the income you make, whether you believe in God or Allah or Buddah or the universe, or if you’re athiest or agnostic or somewhere in between. What I care about is who you are at your core, who you are striving to be, and how you are treating people along the way. If God is a part of your belief system, great! If not, great! But it really shouldn’t matter in the way you are showing up….for yourself or for others. And it sure isn’t going to affect the way I treat you either.
But in terms of how we are showing up, the question to ask is HOW would we have wanted to live if the opposite of what we believe is true. Because that’s the answer…that’s the balance of who we are. And it should be the same. We should have the same goals and plans and desires regardless of where our faith and beliefs are. And then any faith and beliefs we do have simply support that, while we live authentically, truly maximizing every day and opportunity because it’s what fulfills us. It’s what propels us forward. It’s who we are.
It isn’t a belief in God that should have us being all the things labelled as “Christ-like” – things that really should just be basic traits of humanity. And it isn’t this belief in God (or lack thereof) that should have us living to our greatest potential. We have ONE life. ONE. One life to live as your best self. One life to make a difference. One life to show up – for those who believe, one life to show God who you really are.
So at the end of the day, whether or not God exists or there is life after all this, I think the real question, and the one so beautifully addressed by John Kabat-Zinn in Oprah Winfrey’s new book, The Wisdom of Sundays is this:
Isn’t this what’s really important? What we are doing and who we are HERE and NOW. Shouldn’t we stop worrying about what might come after, and make sure we’re truly IN the moments now? That how we show up and present ourselves is a direct representation of who we really are?
Is how you’re showing up a direct representation of who you are?