Religions of all kinds can provide men and women of all ages, solace, and happiness, despite the constant negativity around us. Whether it be our own personal struggles, the struggles of people around us, such as family and friends. Or it could be cultural aspects that affect us. We hear from some people that religion has hindered society more than helped. Whether this is true or not, it’s different for various people, but most people do find religion and spirituality, whatever it may be, to help them in life.
Typically, religion and spirituality seek to put a positive outlook on life. When we read the Christian bible, or the Torah and Quran, we see history, culture, and moral and ethical questions surrounding us all. Whether we will ever be able to accurately answer those questions and understand concepts of history and culture holistically, people can find that this religion can provide them with comfort because they have something to look forward to in life. After all, what is a life without some level of meaning and metaphysical awareness?
I’ve met people in my personal life who’ve sought religion out as a means to better themselves, or to find something to give them direction in life. This is personal for every individual and there is no way we can describe it in any general way. However, we do know that throughout history religion has sought to bring people a good life. While religion and spiritual leaders are by no means perfect, who is? Nobody’s perfect in life and everybody who lives a life makes mistakes. Perhaps, seeking out religion and spirituality can help you make better decisions. Religion and spirituality can help you mature and make ethical decisions.
By reading moral and social philosophy, the Gospel of Luke, or the teachings of the Buddha, we know that through the literature of religion and spirituality, there is typically positive and humane intent. While, not everything in life is positive, especially in moral and theological teachings, the intent is usually positive. Moral and social philosophy, theology, and even poetry can lead people to seek a deeper meaning for life.
Speaking as someone who is a baptized, receiver of first communion, and confirmed Roman Catholic, I went through a three and a half year period of uncertainty of religion and spirituality. Mostly looking for myself and seeking some level of comfort. But, I’ve found through understanding the history of religion, whether it be the history of Islam and Christianity, or reading about Thomas Aquinas, it helps me understand my faith much better. Plus, it leads to a question, is there one right way to hold faith and belief. It is different for everyone, which is why we cannot generalize religious beliefs, completely.
My advice for college students struggling or trying to find some level of morality and meaning in life, would be to seek out a greater truth. It doesn’t have to be a diety or a specific religious or spiritual practice, but perhaps study poetry based on ethics. Or, listen to music that has emotional and personal meanings behind it, based on positive struggles and negative consequences. Or read history and try to understand where humans went wrong in the past and how we can change our future. By reading history, it can give you a sense of what the intent of Kings and Queens of Europe, or the Pope’s or leaders in the Ottoman Empire made the moral and right decisions in battle and in passing laws that affect the masses within that specific culture.
Finding meaning in life can take on different forms, some traditional and conventional, others are more personal and based on creativity. Let’s say that whether you choose either of these methods to find meaning, to you, you are open to finding the truth about life and reality and the nature of the universe.