Thinking about society, I find it interesting how religion is both so important and maligned. Religion hasn’t played a major role in my life for a long time and besides finding it irrelevant, I tend to empathize with those who’ve ridiculed, criticized and blamed religion for a lot of problems in our time. Yet I haven’t taken the full jump over to atheism, thanks to my faint but still present belief in a supreme God. I also don’t characterize people who believe in religion and partake in its rituals and beliefs as mindless fools and pitiful beings. I understand why people would want to believe in a higher being and a set of ideas that are set in a realm above that of what we can see and touch. It comes down to our own failings as people and how disappointing we can be. To ground ourselves only in our immediate reality, in our direct surroundings and on the individual behavior of ourselves and those around us can be and is often a dispiriting and weak experience. That’s why many people need something bigger than ourselves to believe in, if not follow. Not all these big ideas are supernatural or mystical, they can be about communities, nations and the world. For me, religion may not be a factor, but there are major things I believe in, which especially include this region.