>> Saturday, July 11, 2009
Aron asked: By definition, I am an Eclectic Spiritual, I use a combination of Christianity and Buddhism and other things as my religion. But, I have found the Eclectic Spiritualism has a strong association with Paganism. Would calling myself an Eclectic Spiritual give me a bad reputation.
This is not a topic I'm particularly objective about, largely because you could define me as an Eclectic Spiritual myself.
There's a quote I have by Dr. Seuss: "Be who you are, say what you think, people that matter don't care, and people that care don't matter."
That pretty much sums up how I've always felt about it. I don't go about telling people my religion as a general rule, but I don't have a problem acknowledging it because I don't particularly care about being popular. I'm only interested in real friends, not anyone who'd hang around with me because I was (or wasn't) a particularly label. If someone can't accept who I really am (and that can certainly include what I believe), they likely aren't the friend for me. I'm actually pretty impressed. There's a lot more openmindedness and tolerance out there for people who think and believe in an out of the ordinary way than you might think given the nonsense on the news. My beliefs have never cost me a friendship I missed.
But there's the opposite side of the coin as well - remembering that the label doesn't make the person and not judging people by what they believe. I like to decide how I feel about people by getting to know them. If you do the same, you can be assured that the friendship you make mean something and will be more treasured than gold.
Another option you have is, of course, keeping your beliefs to yourself. Not everyone is comfortable speaking of their personal beliefs or being in a position to defend them. I don't see why anyone doesn't have the option to keep his beliefs private, so that's another path to take.
Despite my odd ways of looking at religion, I don't think I ever missed any opportunities because of them, if that's what you're worried about. It's a slow and painful process, but I have hopes that the world is growing up.