So. I was walking in the gloriousness that is Crescent Lake Park this afternoon and came to somewhat of an epiphanic thought regarding religion and spirituality. After a number of years of study about the topic during college, I came away with the understanding that though there are superficial differences between world religions, much of the esoteric material is quite similar. They have many of the same general ideals about human nature and the morals to which we should abide by (don't lie, killing is bad, respect one another, etc.). The stories of creation amongst religions are really where the major distinctions lie. This is also where I tend to become somewhat of a skeptic. There are so many religions and belief systems, that each have their own scripture on how we came to be; and they are all devoted to their stories (they are sticking to their guns). How, I wonder, can one single religion have the right idea? Is there a "right" idea? So, back to the thought I had at the park: I was thinking about what kinds of things people instill in their respective deities--why they worship them and hold them in such high regard. The first thing that came to mind was compassion. Then love; empathy, generosity, mercy...all such wonderful attributes to have and to practice. These are all things that we, today have within us. We hold the powers of love and compassion. We practice them on a daily basis. We control whether or we treat a situation with resentment, anger or violence; or with understanding, empathy and forgiveness. I guess there's always the retort that it was God that gave those traits to us in the first place--that we were chosen to think the way we do, over say...an armadillo. And I can't say no; but I can't say 'yes, that's how it happened' with any kind of conviction, either. Because the truth is, I don't know. I don't know what happened before the earth came into being. I didn't exist. Nobody did. And science's explanations on evolution and genetics is pretty compelling. I am sure that there's a grand design in there, somewhere. The human body and the synchronized way in which it operates is testament enough. I guess, because I don't know, and have no way of knowing if there is a 'God' in the way most people believe there to be...but I do know that love exists. And charity, compassion, goodness, and honor. Those are what I invest my beliefs in. That is what I build my spirituality upon; and anything that inspires that within others is O.K. by me.