Home > #NaBloPoMo, Why Shouldn't We? > Why Shouldn’t We?

Why Shouldn’t We?

As I often do when I’m in a reflective mood, I found myself yesterday evening playing music to match. Unlike the days of my youth, when this would have also given me some physical exercise in getting up to change the vinyl disc on the turntable, nowadays it is very easy to sit comfortably and go from album to album, track to track just by clicking on your device of choice. I use Apple Music for this, and have a vast library to choose from! It will be great when they deliver on the promise to extend the limit you can have in your own library from the current 25,000 songs to 100,000, as this will enable me to be even lazier about storing what I want to hear! Skipping tracks or moving to another album has never been easier, and I do it a lot!

I listen to a lot of singer/songwriters and one of my favourites is Mary Chapin Carpenter, whose every album is in my collection. I alighted on the song Why Shouldn’t We, from her album The Calling, and played it several times. It is a simple, beautiful song, like so many of hers, but this was the first time I’d really listened properly to the words. I also found a lovely live version of it on YouTube, which I’m sharing with you in case you don’t know the song:

The song starts with the simple message of why shouldn’t we believe in something or someone that we can’t see, i.e. God, and moves on to a range of other intangible elements of the human spirit, asking the same question. I was brought up as a Christian, attended a Church of England primary school, and my stepmother is an ordained priest, so I’ve always had those influences. But I’ve tended to regard myself as more an agnostic than a true believer. I want to believe that there is a spiritual guiding force, but find it hard to reconcile that with the amount of hatred and hurt in the world. I also think I have a limited imagination – you should see my pathetic attempts at writing fiction! – and this does, I feel, present a barrier to my acceptance of a faith. But as I get older, having retired and enjoying lots of time to think, I’m beginning to wonder whether there may be something here for me after all.

I’ve always tried to be the best person I could be and would hope that everyone does this, although in some it appears to be hidden more deeply than in others! Do I need to attach myself to a formal religion or faith to do this? Well, I’m 62 and haven’t really given this much thought for the best part of fifty years, so perhaps I don’t? But, listening to MCC’s words which, as always, are intelligent and meaningful, I’m beginning to think that I may need to find something. I’m not looking for a magical epiphany moment, and don’t really think I have enough spirituality for that to happen anyway, but I have this nagging feeling which is beginning to gnaw away at me that there may be something more that I need in  my life.

I suspect that this is some kind of response to my personal circumstances – divorce eight years ago, a change of lifestyle with my retirement, and a spell of depression four years ago which has left me on anti-depressants until now. But hopefully my doctor will agree that I don’t need to take these any more when I next see him, at the end of this month, and my current dosage is very low in any case. I am asking myself why that happened, was there a reason for it, and was I supposed to learn something from it. I don’t know, but I am thinking more and more about it.

As the old Johnny Nash song says, there are more questions than answers. I’m not sure that anyone has yet even got close to finding all of those answers. I know I haven’t! But I intend to keep looking, and suspect that I’ll return to this topic at some point.

I hope my rambling, and MCC’s more concise and meaningful words, help you to think about that for yourself too. I feel that there is much we can all do to enrich our own lives, and the lives of those we care about. At the very least, we can all try!

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  1. November 2, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Your thoughts can speak for most of us. It seems the older we get we are still searching for those answers. Very thoughtful Clive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. November 2, 2018 at 11:41 am

    I still have in my possession an RAF issue bible that was my father’s (Christening?) gift to me – the only thing pertaining to hm that I have. In it he wrote “To my son hoping he will seek the truth in these pages and never give up the search”. I long since concluded that the Bible is not the only source of truth but I am still searching!
    I find it impossible to believe in a superior being to whom we can appeal for succour. With 7.5 billion of us on this planet, all with conflicting needs and desires, He/She/It could never satisfy us all. And that’s without taking account of all the other inhabitable planets that possibly exist in a more or less infinite universe. It’s very much down to us to make the choice as to whether we want to help or hinder those with whom we come into contact.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 2, 2018 at 11:59 am

      I’m still searching too! What concerns me most is that so many choose to use their perception of the existence of that superior being to justify abominable acts and behaviour. Religion has been involved in wars for more than 1500 of the 2000 or so years that we count for our calendar system – that really says it all, I think.

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  3. November 2, 2018 at 10:58 am

    My mother used to say that you could live a good Christian life without going to church, and she did. However, as she grew close to death and was suffering, she did question whether there actually was ‘anyone up there’. I don’t know either. I guess we’ll find out one day!

    Liked by 2 people

    • November 2, 2018 at 11:14 am

      I find it difficult to believe that there is an omniscient being, as I can’t think how they could countenance the level of suffering that can be found in the world. But a little part of me does still wonder 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      • November 2, 2018 at 11:46 am

        All this fighting over different religions, and there might not even be any gods in the first place! It’s man that’s causing the suffering – all wanting their god to be the only god. Thank God I’m an agnostic like you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • November 2, 2018 at 12:02 pm

        As I’ve just said to Frank, and I think I’ve included in a previous post, religion has been involved in wars for 1500 of our 2000 years. That seems to me to be an excuse for terrible behaviour, not a reason to adhere to any particular credo!

        Liked by 1 person

      • November 2, 2018 at 12:32 pm

        It’s the constant religious brainwashing of kids by parents generation after generation. I think Philip Larkin said it all really with ‘This be the Verse’!

        Liked by 1 person

      • November 2, 2018 at 12:41 pm

        Brainwashing leading to fanaticism! I don’t know that poem, I’ll have to look it up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • November 2, 2018 at 2:53 pm

        It’s a great poem.

        Liked by 1 person

      • November 2, 2018 at 3:04 pm

        I looked it up and recognised it – I knew it by its first line not its proper title!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. November 2, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Reblogged this on Take It Easy and commented:

    This post from three years ago today just popped up in my Timehop feed. It wasn’t a post that gained much attention at the time and if I’m honest it isn’t one I’ve thought much about since I wrote it. But it is interesting to me – and, I hope, for you – to see how thoughts of belonging and believing can strike us. Often, as was the case for me at this time, they can be prompted by the lyrics of a song, and I’m not thinking Agadoo here! Three years on, I don’t think I’m any closer to finding the answers I was seeking, but I have the rest of my life for that so there’s always hope.

    One thing in particular struck me about what I’d written: that there was so much hatred in the world. Sadly, if anything, that has become worse and more overt since I first wrote this piece. Maybe we all need to take some time for reflection?

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