Cool Enough To Be Wide Awake In The Morning?
Spirituality Among Youth
Photo : Wiki Commons
The human interest for immaterial aspects of existence might be extremely different from one man to another, if we were to take into consideration personal or cultural backgrounds, for instance. It seems like throughout time, we couldn't agree with one another and preferred division. Maybe this can explain the incredibly high number of religions and cults all over the world. Besides this, it is known both scientifically and psychologically that people we have met have had an impact on us, have changed us when offering a piece of advice, ideas or when sharing personal experiences. In other words, there's no surprise we haven't all got the same goals and preoccupations, as some of us would go out on a Sunday evening and party wildly, while others would prefer staying home and spending time in solitude, praying or meditating or simply working on our spiritual/personal side.
Some people see life as a journey where they have to prepare their souls so they will not perish, but have eternal life. From the moment when someone become aware of the great responsibility he has for his life, when he starts asking himself all those kinds of "existential "questions like “What am I living for?" and “Really, what must do with my life?", everything starts to change or at least it should. The courageous ones will work hard to find answers and then will act in concordance with them, while the ones less ambitious will either be ignorant concerning this awakening stage or satisfied with the questions, wishing nothing else more than to keep asking forever. Youth is considered to be a period of great relevance for everyone, as most of us discover the real meaning of life, as well as what we have and what we need furthur for our beautiful journey. But how concerned are the youth nowadays with these aspects?
For the majority of 16-25 year-old Romanians, it seem being "religious", being indoctrinated or hypnotised, as Robert (20) claims. He also thinks that "only the old people, the ones who don't have too much time left to live go to church regularly. It's old-fashioned. [...] We are maybe too careless and think we have enough time in the future for that kind of stuff". And Robert is not the only one for whom the traditional church doesn't provide a suitable method to grow spiritually. Cosmin, who has the same age, has a similar opinion, but he considers that hiking or meditating are more beneficial options for him.
On the other side, an 18 year-old teenager, Rares, in one of the examples of the "fresh" atheists in Romania. He enjoys analysing his own thoughts, but he rejects the idea of an existent God, believing "in the power of mother nature and its physical processes". Ioana, who will turn 19, explains to me how unsure she is of everything related to this domain, also admitting that "I am not a religious person and I currently don't know which are my beliefs, but I think there must be a balance between religiousness and rationality, as people tend to exaggerate". Nowadays, there seems to be a trend in Romania not to believe in anything, except in your "own Jesus" or in yourself only. Youth are more and more rebelled against the manifestation of the Romanian Orthodox Church, observing only the things that don't work so well.
Even though Orthodoxism represents more than 80 % of the population, only 4 % of them are practicing, according to the 2011 official census. But on the other hand, Vlad, who is almost 19, is one of those Orthodox for whom this denomination allowed him to radically change on many plans of his life, by improving his personal relationship with God and choosing a life of continuous spiritual work, a life of virtues. More than this, he seriously told me that "A young man must give to his life a clear meaning, so he won't be confused anymore. He must focus on his soul’s development. He will know there is life after death and that he must work really hard to deserve the eternal reward. In a society that promotes materialism, what will someone have besides of his earnings at the end of his life? It's our choice how we prioritise the time we have and decide what matters the most".
Another person extremely keen on her soul's state is Monica, 17, who, by the sincerely way she talks, was able to express her deepest feelings of thankfulness and adoration for God: the Supreme Father, Creator and Friend. She told me about the synergy between her and The Holy Spirit and how astonishing her life is because she is living with Jesus Christ. She was helped to overcome obstacles in life such as moments of betraying: "It's about the moments of repentance when you return with tears, admitting you sinned. Then you realise that He has never abandoned you, even if you did so and that there is no happiness without Him. You need His Love and His presence in your life". When talking about religions, she agreed that the name itself is by far unimportant and what does really matter is a strong relationship with God, a pure heart and to live according to His Word. He wants us to discover the Truth, to have faith and to live forever with Him. His hands are open for everyone.
In fact, being spiritually alive should be a permanent state for every human being. Therefore, the sooner you find your way and your mission in life, the better because from that point, you can start to focus on what you feel you must do with your life. Take time and "meditate" on this subject. Maybe it's the most important you can think of. Who does not deserve a balanced life? Who does not need inner peace, an enlightened mind and the wings of his soul wide open? You are a complete beautiful creation made of body, soul and spirit, who has free will, feelings and rationality, born from LOVE and nourished with the same incommensurable amount of Love. So, behave so.