If that’s blasphemous I apologize. I mean, I capitalized the G.

 

I say this it often, ‘you can’t make someone not believe in God’. Today I said it again and I’m feeling the need to write it out.

In my efforts to enforce my boundaries I told my kids’ ballet teacher I thought they were doing too much. Like many kids activities I hear about, ballet has become increasingly time-consuming, stress-inducing, and a source of much strife for my family. As more activities are added my girls (I have three in the school) experience more stress and less joy.

Sure, part of this is growing up, being responsible, and being human. But none of the students are going to be professional ballet dancers. Or, if they are, they do not require increasing activities to do so. Or, a reasonable amount of activity and commitment are not going to drastically reduce the potential for them to reach their ballet dreams. I don’t know, maybe that’s not true. But for me and my family, it has become too much.

And, being the people pleaser, I have not said anything for awhile. I sat by and watched the activities build and help manage the resulting stress. But I bottled it up to the point where I needed to do something about it, and on my current quest to improve my life chose this fire to fight first. I simply wanted to let the involved parties know that I was resistant to the current direction and to have my voice hear. I tried to share my thoughts in a parents meeting, but was unable, so I summarized my thoughts in an email shared it with all the staff and parents. I received a response from the teacher which was professional and decent. And I appreciated it.

So everything went well. I felt a need to speak my mind, I let it out ,and claimed my space in the world. And my words were heard. I congratulate myself for getting my needs met in my attempts to change old beliefs.

However, my words probably aren’t going to make a difference. Probably nothing will change with respect to the increasing demands my family will experience. And that’s ok, because that wasn’t my goal, but it also makes me wonder how we ever change, or what would be required if I did want to change people’s minds. What can I do to change anything? Can you make people not believe in God?

 

Because I don’t think so. Or, at least, I don’t feel strongly enough about this particular issue to want to fight (or feel like I had the stamina to fight) that battle. In this case I feel better having met my needs to speak up and I feel like I now have a foundation for future protest so that my resistance has a context. Now when I disagree with any particular additional activity everyone will understand where I am coming from.

More often than not, I don’t want to or don’t feel it’s my place to, make people not believe in God. But what if I did feel strongly enough to fight? How would I do it? How do people do it? Can people do it? It makes me think of our current political situation. Can we change things?

Look at civil rights. Lots of resistance. Lots of protest. Millions of individual efforts to change how people think. Yet, I still see a lot or racism. I see a lot of people unconvinced that ‘not believing in God’ is a good thing. Does anything change? Can it?

I wonder.

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