I have noticed during my life that people in general always seem to be in search of something or someone to worship and/or idolize. It could be a god. It could be a famous celebrity. It could even be an inanimate object such as jewelry, or a car, or a boat. Some folks may even devote their lives to such things as sporting events or other such activities. Of course, the all-time winner in the material-worship category is the Almighty Dollar. (But - hey - there are a slew of millionaire TV evangelists out there who are much more qualified than I am to "preach" about that.) Regardless of the chosen idol(s), I have often wondered why anybody would ever worship anything at all. I have always found the concept of bowing down on my knees and surrendering myself to another entity - whether real or conceptual - very unsettling. Even during my days as a good little Baptist, I found the whole act rather demoralizing.
There is a scene from the movie "300" that I get a kick out of every time I see it. It is when Leonidas meets with Xerxes. Initially, Xerxes attempts to intimidate Leonidas to make him surrender. That failing, Xerxes then tries enticing Leonidas with the promise of great wealth and power, telling him, "All you have to do is kneel before me." In true warrior fashion, Leonidas responds with, "Well, you see, the idea of kneeling... I have this nasty cramp in my leg that makes kneeling very difficult." In other words, despite any threats of torture or promises of riches/rewards, I prefer to be in charge of my own life and take full responsibility for my own actions, whether good or bad, wise or foolish, kind or cruel. If I do good in my life and treat people kindly and fairly, it is because it is the right thing to do. It is a conscious choice I make freely, not because I have to be "bribed" or threatened to do so. On the other hand, should I choose to be a lying, cheating, thieving, murderous shit-bird, then that is also of my own free-will. It is most definitely NOT because of the influence of some arbitrary evil entity, and I should be held responsible for any and all offenses and punished accordingly. Why is that such a difficult concept for most people to grasp?
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