Advanced Essay #3 - Follow Your Heart Without Guilt

  This essay ties in the topic of whether or not growing up with certain people definitely means following what they believe in. Specifically, going into one of those beliefs, I chose to talk about religion. 
          I am proud of being able to incorporate those two ideas with one another and am happy with the position of my quotes. I feel as if they are a big help with allowing the audience to relate to the topic. Although, I wish that I would have analyzed the quotes more rather than mainly give context to open up that understanding of essay even more.
     What is something you have that you are able to rely on? Everyone has a different type of support system that shows what they know and believe in. Something large around us that is an outlet for many different kinds of people is religion. 
    Some people may argue that being raised in a specific society with certain people will be the most determining value of how they will grow up to be themselves. There are some ideas that surround the fact that it is more likely to even be inevitable for people to act similar to the people that they grew up with in the future.
An idea that counters this is that there are many cases where people have actually gone the opposite root from the people that they grew around. Therefore, unlike the common perceptions that they will follow in the footsteps of those who raised them, many people have decided to actually use those they grew up around as role models for them choosing another path.
          Sometimes, that pressure of being assumed to simply fall under the same footsteps as those who raised the person pushes them to believe they have to be that way. Believing in something else could possibly make them feel guilty or that something is wrong with their behavior, when in reality they are finally finding something that truly resonates with them, discovering more of their identity. Along with that, they may have a fear in the back of their mind that they are isolated and that it is not a normal feeling. The truth is that there are other people who go through it too, for example Muhammad Ali. After gaining winning the title of being a heavyweight champion, he announced his true feelings on his religion and beliefs. This was in 1964 when he said “I believe in Allah and in peace. I don’t try to move into white neighborhoods. I don’t want to marry a white woman. I was baptized when I was 12, but I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m not a Christian anymore. I know where I’m going and I know the truth and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” Not only did he decide to follow his own beliefs and create his own footsteps, he did it in front of many people to hear. Having celebrities such as him publicly announce something like that is encouragement to those who feel as though they are alone in their situation.  
Similar to Ali’s situation, in a household, sometimes your parents or guardians raised you to have a certain belief system. Depending on how strict your family and household is, some may take the person wanting to convert religion into a negative connotation. Although, some may be the opposite and actually be supportive of the change.
    Why change religion in the first place some may question? Just being born into a religion does not necessarily make the person believe in everything that is being taught to them. If you feel the same way and feel weird about it, it is okay because many people also feel that way. Just like Yusuf Islam who was raised into a Christian home, followed the traditions, without truly understanding why. “I was born in a Christian home, but we know that every child is born in his original nature - it is only his parents that turn him to this or that religion.  I was given this religion (Christianity) and thought this way.  I was taught that God exists, but there was no direct contact with God, so we had to make contact with Him through Jesus - he was in fact the door to God.  This was more or less accepted by me, but I did not swallow it all.” 
          Whether or not you believe in a certain religion, or none for those he matter, it is completely normal. Being born into and being raised around people who may want to push you into following their lead, does not mean that you have to comply. Associating with another religion does not make you a terrible person, it shows that you have found yourself. So yes, of course the people you grow up around will influence how you are as a person, but it definitely does and should not limit you to their beliefs only.