I have never been what most people consider religious. I have always, or for a long time considered myself spiritual. And of late, I have been not so much questioning it, but rather looking at how I can stand with ease and grace and still honor that which I call Spiritual or Faith.
I live in a country that is highly religious, and recently even on local television the number of religious programmes and channels have either increased; or it occurs to me like they have. And while I am ‘searching’ there is a certain annoyance of no other options on telly or around for quick reference or observation. Kenya is a religious country there is no doubt about that. AND there is the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of religion at play. Anyone at any time can claim religion, spirituality, or faith as a basis for their standing and current circumstance.
Faith, religion and spirituality can and does polarize people a lot here and I suspect in developing countries, where they are not only seen as the fallback plan, when life does not go or occur the way you want, and as a way to seek forgiveness, compassion and good standing in politics, public office or family and community. I think religion has become such a common commodity that it’s now losing its value. I believe personally that it has now been over advertised for lack of a better phrase; it has become ordinarily flaunted as a fad and a useful weapon when required. I could speak a lot more about this and debate this, but am not going to right now.
When I started thinking about this post, I was thinking of turning 40 at the end of this year, finding my place with faith, religion and spirituality with ease and grace. I don’t have any answers or wise words on this post, and I am starting a personal journey, or conversation about what faith, religion and spirituality is for me. What I am clear about so far is that, it will have to – or a critical element of it – will have to include, family, both personal and extended ‘family’, community and what I strongly believe to be at the heart of faith – the fellowship of mankind, the compassion for ourselves and others, the understanding that faith, religion and spirituality do not only reside nor be only attended to in specific buildings and ways, but that it is and shall always evolve and be dynamic just as humanity evolves and is dynamic. This is a work in progress.
Copyright © 2011 Ng’ethe Githinji.