How you believe what you believe

Image: Annie Spratt

It’s not about What, it’s about How

If you listen to most people with strong beliefs – whether religious or anti-religious – the focus is always on the content of those beliefs. The arguments and debates are always about what we believe. And about whether what we believe is right or wrong.

Without suggesting that what we believe is irrelevant, I think there is something equally, or perhaps more important than what we believe. And that is how we believe what we believe.

What impact do our beliefs have on our everyday life? Do they make us better, more loving and gracious people? Are our beliefs making us include or exclude others? How do we live our lives as a result of what we believe?

The reality is that I’m less bothered about the content of what others believe and more interested in the impact of those beliefs.

Don’t tell me you believe in peace—live a peaceful life.
Don’t tell my you believe in generosity—live a generous life.
Don’t tell me you believe in love—live a loving life.
Don’t tell me you believe in helping the needy—help the needy.

Many religions feel compelled to tell others about what they believe and why they should believe the same too. But the truth is, their beliefs would be far more attractive if they focussed less on trying to convince others about what to believe and more on how they are living loving, generous, peaceful lives, inspired by their beliefs.

It’s time for less What, and more How.

Title needed here

Winning isn’t everything