I tried a bunch years ago. Found things to like in all of them. Quaker was cool. Unitarian. Eastern Orthodox. Methodist (raised in it). Buddhist. Baha’i (bah’ai? I forgot now – I was a teenager). New Age. Science. I’ve been through a bunch.
Tried Philosophy as a religion but it didn’t stick with me. Some people swear by it though.
Money was a good religion. Very stressful though. Got me a house, sure. But it rots your insides out. Still, it was nice to play with stocks. Money’s not the worst religion but it’ll give you an ulcer.
[How is “philosophy” or “science” religions?] – someone asked
It’s not what they are, it’s how you use ‘em.
Pick any. It’s all how you approach it. They’re tools. Religions are tools for self-betterment (generally). Science is a tool for discovery and explanations. Mathematics is a nice way to map things out with specificity. Philosophy helps you reason through things, as does logic.
But if the tool is part of your wake up and sleep routine, if you obsess over it and it takes over your existence… if you credit it for all the wonders of everything that is for you… it might have become your religion.
Just because a dictionary has a definition that excludes these things, it *also* has definitions that includes these things. I use the broader definition because religiousity is a part of human nature. Can’t escape it with a dictionary. The trick is, to me, figuring out what your religions are and deciding if they’re right for you.
Also, the broader definition doesn’t make the word religion meaningless. The word religion has multiple meanings, each valid.
I grew up with Joseph Campbell influence. Grandmother had his books, I saw his interview with Bill Moyers way back when – I think he had a TV show but it might have been a series, not sure. He was very influential to me as a kid and teenager and while I have some misgivings about some of his vagueness – nonetheless, he shaped my general approach towards things.
I think we’re probably in the same boat more or less, although I suspect I’ll just keep rolling my own religion as I go along. Or philosophy. Or whatever you wanna call it.
I avoided the hazing thing thankfully. I saw it happening around me but it wasn’t my thing. Perhaps it’s what helped me stay an individualist: I never felt a “yeah we’re all men here” stuff, except locker room jokes and stuff.
I think the dividing line between boy and man for me was more my outlook. A sense of duty. Honor. Respect towards self, towards others, towards my community, my planet. These are the qualities of manliness that attracted me. I still did stupid things: still do stupid things. But that growing awareness of responsibility towards everything and keeping as free of emotional manipulation as possible, is probably where it’s at for me.
For me, the ritual was probably when I got a checking account. I was lucky: In the 80s, kids could get bank accounts on their own.
So, at 12, I got my own bank account. Walked in the bank. Signed up. I was a man.
My nephew just turned 11 last month. Someone gave him a pre-paid debit card. He signed up for a new game. I showed him how to become his own parent (ownership of parental account), and how to put the debit card in his name, and link the account to it.
So he’s his own father and has complete control of the game: both as a kid that plays and the parent that pays.
He was very proud of himself. It’s the closest I could do to pass that feeling on.
You had one of those bonding experiences that lasts a lifetime. I think that’s awesome smile emoticon I had similar stuff at college (too short of a stay alas) – group drum circles, or tripping balls, … and some stuff as a teenager… some stuff in my 20s… usually surrounding some really idiotic group thing that turned out to be the most awesome night of our lives that we never forgot tongue emoticon
While you can’t repeat that unique experience, you can have other bonding experiences. But of course, nothing like your first – and thankfully, you had a great one.
I wouldn’t stress too much about it. Kids find new ways and new rituals. They can ban one, 10 more rituals pop up that nobody sees.
Kids find ways to toughen themselves up, bond in groups. It’s a natural course of life and no amount of rules imposed from above will stop it – they just get more subversive about it.
You gotta get away from those youtube channels Carson. THEY are rotting your brain.
Let me give you a positive example: I have a lot of kids that follow me on Vine. One of their favorites is Filthy Frank.
It’s purposely inappropriate. They love it. They emulate him.
Head over to iFunny – lots of kids on there. They have all sorts of inappropriate names, leave inappropriate comments, trash talk left and right.
Don’t worry about it Carson. The kids are alright.
In fact, GenZ, if anything, is learning how to fool the adult world (yes, our world), much more quickly because they have online communities guiding them along.
I’ll give another example of a trend over the past year or so: cringe.
Talk about inappropriate. I think it’s awesome: They challenge each other to do gross things. To offend each other as much as possible. To make the nastiest jokes. To be as perverted without getting banned as possible. I see this stuff all of the time because I get followed, I follow back, their stuff shows up on my feed on various networks. The stuff is hysterical, nasty, gross, “inappropriate” as hell, and if their parents or teachers had ANY IDEA the stuff they talk about and do online right under their noses, they’d be grounded ’til they were 21.
Don’t sweat it. They’ll be fine.