I often tell people I am a free thinker, and I do not have any religion, although I veer towards the Buddhist Philosophy, not the religion. I believe in using my common sense in doing things, and not because a book or a man says it’s ok, or not, to do something. That’s what i hope to impart on my kids – not to take things at face value, and not to be led by one blinded by his own religion.
The episode of Pastor Rony Tan convince me of my direction, and last Sunday article about Humanists affirms my belief that you don’t need religion to teach you the right way to live your life.
Generally, the article on Humanists stated that:
Humanists do not believe in God or afterlife.
They believe thet alone bear responsibilty for their actions and cannot blame or give credit to fate or deity.
They prefer to rely on experience, observation and rational methods to explain the world.
The hold moral principles such as the golden rule of Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Accept Compassion and human welfare should guide their life.
Live life to the fullest.
Sounds logical to me, but I also respect what the Chinese pray to – deities, idols etc. If they have faith in these things, who are we to say it’s wrong. After all, many religions place their faith on their one single book. Faith is in the eye of the beholder, that’s why some of us carry a lucky charm, or believe in a lucky number or colour. (Can you imagine mine is black this year? )
Today is the nineth day of CNY. Hokkiens in my neighbourhood spent last night burning and praying. The website About.com describe it as such:
The 9th day, Hokkien New Year: this day is particularly significant to Hokkien Chinese: on the ninth day of the New Year (it is said), the enemies of the Hokkien tribe banded together to wipe the Hokkiens from the face of the earth. As a horrible massacre ensued, a few survivors hid in a field of sugarcane. The heavens intervened, and the marauders left. Since then, Hokkiens have thanked the Jade Emperor for his intervention on the 9th day, making offerings of sugarcane stalks tied together with red ribbons.
As with any other prayer dates, this day is but one form of giving thanks to being saved by the sugarcane plantation. Americans give thanks on Thanksgiving Day, but we Chinese are a grateful lot, and give thanks to our many blessings, including ancestors, Heaven and Earth, etc on various dates in the lunar calandar. I don’t consider these rituals such as ancestor worship to be superstitious, but more of an appreciation to what our ancestors have given us.
Knowing all this makes me feel even more blessed, cos only through appreciating can one truely values one’s life.