I run into many people in my travels: Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Agnostics and Atheists and I often wonder why they believe what they believe? What is their frame of reference? I've come to learn in my travels that everyone has a religion, even those who denounce it.
Furthermore, it perplexes me when I see people who attend the same church as me, hear the same sermons and teachings yet interpret them in such a radically different way and live their lives in such an un-Christian way. Don't get me wrong, I'm no saint but I know enough not to violate the basics tenants of Christianity and marriage.
What I am learning is that we all have our own worldview or our own glasses that we view the world through based on our upbringing, values, morals, beliefs and life experiences. This view begins from an early age and is predominately influenced by our parents, therefore we adopt our parents
Having spent a good deal of time now researching parenting and leaning on my wifes degree in Early Childhood Education, it is amazing what you can learn by observing children. Let me spend a few hours with your children and I can tell you their parents worldview, prejudices and their morals and values.
So, we all start with this small map that is heavily influenced by our parents and as we grow, we choose whether to expand our map or not. Some people spend their entire lives simply inheriting their parents worldviews and they are happy with that.
I am often complemented on how "worldly" I am. When I was young, I thought this was an insult or derogatory statement but soon I learned this meant experienced in human affairs; sophisticated or worldly-wise. I then begin to see that I did view the world from a different light. I have been to over 30 different countries and have learned and lived with many different religions and cultures and that has influenced my own worldview sometimes with biases or prejudices.
We all have a certain worldview that must be constantly updated and revised as we find ourselves exposed to new information. If our viewpoint is narrow, misleading and outdated, then we will be lost. The same applies to our life experiences. A bitter childhood can leave a person with the false idea that the world is a hostile and inhuman place. Yet, if the person has to grow, he must set aside this prejudice and revise his worldview. Being true also implies a life of genuine self-examination, a willingness to be personally challenged by others, and total honesty to oneself and others.
Therefore, this week we will look at our own worldview, what influences and hinders our worldview and why we need to strive to expand our worldview and thus our experience and how this ultimately enhances and leads us to further spiritual growth.
This will also give us a greater awareness of what we are teaching and giving to our children as a worldview inheritance and how we can structure that to be as clear as possible and also teach our children to not just take our worldview but to go out and find there own.
This may be a touchy subject for some because I have met many parents who want to create clones of themselves or who want their children to be what they were not instead of encouraging and fostering a household to help children find their own worldviews, passions and beliefs.
So prepare for some controversy and exciting studies this week.