Launching Leaders recently participated in an interfaith meeting in Fort Collins, Colorado, where a few college students were impaneled to answer sensitive questions regarding how their faith drives their actions and what their view is about religion and spirituality.
Consider how you might answer these questions which were posed to them:
- How does your faith/belief affect your concept of fulfillment or success in your life?
- What role does your faith/belief play in planning the next steps in your life?
- Do you have mentors in your life? Are any of them associated with your faith/belief? Why/why not?
- How does your faith/belief affect your feelings about financial matters?
- Is it ok to compartmentalize your life (be a different person at home, work, school, and with your friends)? Does your faith/belief play a role in this?
- How important is giving back to you? Does your faith/belief play a part in your giving back – whether giving back in time, effort, or money?
Here are a couple of excerpts from what they said that I wrote in my note book during the conversation:
“Infuse together a cohesive life.”
“Ultimate success is finding joy.”
“Success is to walk the path with many.”
“Pursuit of knowledge is a form of worship in itself.”
Participating on the panel of young adults were a Virtuous Agent, Muslim, and Christian. All panelists were engaged in listening intently to the other’s responses and taking the good from each. There was no confrontation or arguing their points against the other. They were all genuinely looking for ways to celebrate commonality. Each of them shared very personal views on their path of faith and spirituality, boldly and with pure authenticity. They were not trying to convert the others to their ways of thinking—they were simply sharing their journey and gleaning insights from everyone around them.
The audience was consisted of many different spiritual leaders in the local faith community, including clergy and university professors. Most of the audience were well past the millennial age. As I observed their own questions, they were more of the essence of “How will you take the good from our generations and add to it in making a better future for yourself and all around you.” I was genuinely pleased that this audience was not only respectful, but also as thrilled as I was about the innate goodness of the young adults who participated. Each of them referenced their parents or grandparents as mentors, even if their spiritual journey was unique unto themselves.
One question was about where they put themselves on a line of spirituality—like a timeline of where it all began and where they see themselves now. One responded: “I don’t see a need to place myself on a line of spirituality.” In other words, our spirituality is unique as to how we make it and doesn’t need to be compared to others or placed on a progression line. This comment was aligned with my own observations about the non-judgmental and independent nature of how the rising generation chooses to live.
The entire experience reminded me of how important it is to have frequent and refreshing dialogue with the interfaith community and to absorb from each other all the goodness we can. The commonality we all share will certainly enlarge each of us.
I concluded that were this panel typical of the thinking patterns of young adults across the world, then our future and the future of the planet is very bright. I went home with a smile on my face and it stretched right through my heart. I continue to celebrate the virtues of the rising generations.