CheckPoint Empathy Exercise
April 13, 2012
I must admit that I have a certain animosity towards religious people. I had a coworker once that was religious. It was not that he ever forced his ideas on me but once I found out that he was religious I began to dislike him. I believe that I formed my dislike for this person based solely on his faith which I prejudged to be hypocritical.
I believe that I formed my feelings towards this person because of my own intolerance towards religion. It is a difficult area of my life to examine because this belief structure has formed over decades. It is not that I was involved in religion and lost faith or that I am angry at God, it is simply the development of a realization that religion is often the cause of many problems. Throughout my life I have slowly come to the realization that God and religion have many irrational impacts on thinking and that if people would simply stop placing so much importance on these concept there would be less war and intolerance.
With this understanding in mind, I believe that I became prey to my own thinking. In an effort to vacate myself of irrational thinking and intolerant thought, I found myself being irrational and intolerant. Although I am not willing to change my opinion concerning religion, I could change my opinion of the person I held animosity towards. I believe because the gentlemen was not trying to convert me or to push his beliefs on my, I could have made a better effort to have a more positive relationship.
In the future, I believe that I must be mindful of making snap judgments concerning religious people. It is equally irrational for me to discount a person based solely on their religious faith as it would be for me to discount a person based upon the color of their skin. Tolerance is not reserved for any single group or person, but is instead practiced and learned.