I always thought that there were typically two types of religious people: the self-righteous and the humble.
Now, however, I'm just not sure.
These days, I'm spending an awful lot of time reading Buddhist texts and literature. On an average day, I spend somewhere around five to seven hours reading. That's a lot of reading and it hasn't been just this month either. Since graduating from high school, I have tried to read a book every couple of weeks, but books have never been the bulk of my daily dose. Most of my time is spent reading papers, blogs and essays online. I'm obsessed with American politics and society, so I must feed this desire.
Of course, Buddhism tells me not to concern myself with worldly things and my doctor tells me not to concentrate on things that stress me out, so I need to clamp down on my political digest. In it's place is and will be my books on Buddhism and, as the year progresses, other religious text. Everyday this month, I've been reading about greed and anger. I spend hours reading parables and applying them to my own life, so naturally, some of what I've learned naturally spills into the conversation. That's not a problem in and of itself. The problem is, how can I deliver Buddha's message without sounding like a self-righteous, holier-than-thou snot?
And it's not just religion. I'm new to this religion stuff. I'm pretty confident in a few other subjects, but history is my forte. (Specifically, the colonial and twentieth-century America, and Korean history.) When I talk about those subjects, I come across as a smug prick or a know-it-all. The truth is is that most people are the opposite of know-it-alls and that's what happens when you know your stuff. The amount of time I'm investing into studying religion this year is certain to have an impact on my knowledge of faith and I'm sure that many people would mistake my limited understanding of religion with self-righteousness, but is that my fault?
How can knowledgeable people share their faith or interest without coming across as preachy?
Are informed people too often deemed self-righteous simply because they know more than the average person?
To be continued...