Are all humans born believers? Most of our thoughts, reflections and beliefs in our initial years are influenced by the family in which we are born. Whether it is accidental or intentional (ordained above) we do not know. But this much is certainly a fact that we are taught to believe or not depending upon what our immediate families tell us. It could be right or wrong, ethical or in ethical but for our circumstance and condition it seems the only thing to do. As we grow older we either continue believing in it all due to habit or compulsion. Much later in life (maybe, earlier for the fortunate some) we realize what we truly believe in from our hearts, mind and souls.
I for example, grew up in a Hindu family which like any other ordinary Hindu family offered prayers to the various forms of Hindu gods and goddesses in temples and at home. It all seemed to come naturally surrounded as I was by the rituals and the weekly visits to the temple. Studying in a convent, I was exposed to a new faith, Christianity and every day, just as I prayed to the Hindu form of God at home, I prayed to Lord Jesus and Mother Mary and sung hymns in school. It all did not seem out of the ordinary. In fact, Lord Jesus became part of my life just as say Lord Ganesha or Lord Krishna. Never was I faced with a conflict about which faith to follow. My parents were broadminded enough to let me go to church or the chapel whenever I wanted to.
Over the years, from being a one track Hindu by birth, I grew up to be a more tolerant, flexible and a liberal peace loving person. Having friends who belonged to different religions only helped the entire process of tolerance and belief that the Power Above is One, the routes to Him/Her varied. But, eventually, all led to the same God.
But yes, situations in later part of one’s life like trauma, sorrow, despair, cynicism can change one’s route of faith and belief. One can change from believer to non believer, God-acknowledging to atheist. That is of course, a personal decision that one takes. Scientology has gained momentum now-a-days. Many celebrities like Tom Cruise believe in leading lives and moulding the lives of their families based on these beliefs. How beneficial it will prove to be, we do not know. But then, so many believers have raped, ripped and forcibly converted others just as so many atheists have attempted to destroy the essence of genuine and divine belief.
I can speak only for myself and I feel fortunate to have been born in a believing family and continue believing so. What about You?