Last Wednesday, April 1st, ISSO and SASA came together to host the one-of-a-kind conversation café ‘The things that matter…religion?’ A lot of us who went to the event did not know exactly what to expect out of it. When we planned it, our main agenda was to create a space where Clarkies could come together and talk about religion and spirituality.
In reality, when we left the event it felt like so much more than just religion or spirituality. We got an opportunity to really look into who we were as individuals. I personally found it very surprising how, even for those of us that are not religious, it was still such a big part of our lives.
The conversation was centered on questions such as “What does being spiritual or religious mean to you?” “Do religion and spirituality go hand in hand?” and “How has Clark shaped our religious view and beliefs?” Many shared their connection with God and instances where they felt truly connected to their higher power while others talked about challenging religious norms and finding their inner strength and spirituality through rebellion.
From childhood myths to adult epiphanies, many of us used this space to reflect on how far we’ve come and grown. Has Clark shaped our views? Has college changed our beliefs? Personally, for me, college has changed me more than I can ever realize. While I have learned to be more open-minded I have also accepted that the creation of the entire world can’t just be a series of coincidences at the same time. It is a constant rush of mixed feelings. My time at college has pushed me to challenge norms and accept that I can only change so much at the same time. For many at our conversation café, college had not changed their values or opinions. Many said they felt more religious or not more religious simply because they were now older and more mature.
So, does religion matter? Yes it does, whether you believe in a specific religion or not—at least it does to the most of us that were at the event. It’s funny how we could be from different parts of the world, raised in absolutely different environments with varied beliefs and values, yet when we seem to share a similar opinion—none of those differences matter. The people that matter, and those minute moments where we are all in awe by the little differences each of us make to shape our beliefs, are what make up our very own list of the ‘Things that matter….’
-Learning new things every day,
*Photos by Demi Senturk