Disclaimer: Originally published in February 2018. It is being republished since it still remains an interesting topic till today.
By Vrinda Gupta
Perceptions and adaptations of religion around the world are extremely subjective and have dynamically evolved with time. Religious people have different reasons for their belief in religion and atheists and agnostics have different reasons for their disbelief in the existence of a divine power.
A common misconception is that “Religion is a thing of the old people.” It is ignorant to believe that as people age and feel more helpless, they start depending on self-styled god-men to feed them false hope. People believe that since old people have ample spare time, a full religious immersion is the only good alternative left.
Religion for most is the worship of a superhuman controlling power. The act of pursuing a system of faith with devotion. Despite the decreasing numbers of youngsters visiting worship places or following rituals or celebrating religious festivals, an overarching majority is still believed to be religious.
Why is that? Let’s look at some reasons, shall we?
#1. The Curiosity About Afterlife:
Every human, even a millennial, wants an explanation for what will happen to them after they die. It is reassuring to know that there is a larger purpose to our existence and that after we die, we will not be meaninglessly reduced to ash, our lives will not be erased from the planet and our birth will not be forgotten.
In fact, it is this inherent desire to be remembered that drives humans to get portraits designed, to get fancy tombstones built and to procreate.
#2. The Idea Of Reassurance:
It is a human tendency, to feel uneasy and insecure when their control over a situation is lost.
When a student, who has studied her level best, walks into an exam, she frantically prays for all to go well because there will always be a lot of unexplained and unexpected variable factors that could ruin her exam.
Maybe the exam paper has a large section of the part of the course she has not studied properly, or maybe she starts to feel unwell during the exam and blacks out. In that last moment of extreme frenzy, she feels reassured to know that her act of praying has control over the imminent events of her exam.
The average millennial today has fallen prey to this new idea of being the victim of an ongoing existential crisis. In this permanent state of misery, bundled with low levels of self-confidence, self-esteem, and hope, religion acts as a kind of support system. It pulls you out of that unnecessary existential crisis and gives meaning to your existence.
It helps you imbibe an optimistic outlook that empowers you to focus on the positives of life, rather than constantly harping about the small irrelevant gloomy aspects. It becomes a driving force and a constant source of peace, consolation, and inspiration.
Religion exists among us in the small inexplicable things we do. The act of crossing our fingers before our luck plays out originates from Christianity.
There are 2 theories that explain the act of crossing fingers:
The former believes that good spirits lived on street crossings, and by crossing fingers, we would invoke those spirits to make our wishes come true. The latter explains that the crossing of fingers was a secret sign developed by Christians, who were forced into secrecy.
The act of crossing fingers was used to recognize that a fellow co-worker was Christian.
The popular idea of carrying a talisman also has religious roots. The idea that an object holds magical powers and can be a harbinger of good luck for the possessor still finds relevance among the millennial generation. The word talisman itself originates from a Byzantine Greek word telesma, that suggests the completion of a religious rite.
For a lot of 20-year olds out there, religion becomes a tangible form of contribution to that inexplicably altruistic superhuman controlling power.
Going to the Gurdwara and helping out with the distribution of ‘langar’ and cleaning its floors becomes a way for a young Sikh girl to pay back for the miraculously speedy recovery of her mother from a nearly fatal accident. It helps her give a name and identity to a divine force that she believes to be the reason for such recovery.
We live in a world with rapidly changing morals and values. So much so that homosexuality and sex, which were earlier believed to be sinful, are now approved of by many religions.
Older generations believe that the millennial generation lacks morals. They believe that we are selfish, careless, misbehaved and unnecessarily promiscuous! Despite this belief, I feel that some values and beliefs will always stick with generations to come. The idea of fairness and justice, the idea that everyone gets what they deserve, the idea that ‘you reap, what you sow,’ is here to stay.
We look up to God to ensure that our hard work will pay off and that one day all the people who misconstrued our good intentions, will realize that we meant well. We like to believe that God judges every soul and that kind people deserve benevolence, and wrongdoers deserve punishment.
If you are a millennial and a religious one, I urge you to zero down on the reasons that made you follow a certain system of faith and worship. Only a few have been listed in this article, there could be many others, that are for you to find.
Image Credits: Google Images