Where do our beliefs, opinions and faiths come from? It’s a question that many of our Scouts might contemplate in the quiet moments around a campfire or when meeting other people from other countries or cultures to our own. It’s a part of the Scout programme, small in nature but large in impact.
As part of their top awards, some of our young people have been musing on where their views and attitudes come from.
“We’re at our best when we look for our similarities and work together”
When I reflect on my faith, I realise that I have been fortunate to interact with many people from a variety of different faiths. Although I was raised a Christian and still consider that the closest faith to my overall beliefs, I have always been given the freedom to explore what that faith means in my life. One of the beliefs I hold most dearly, is that people should be free to follow their own faith without persecution. I have tried to live this belief by welcoming people from all faiths and working to understand what they believe.
In my work I work with facts, figures and statistics; data that can be proved using experiments and instrumentation, but I know that there are still some things that science has not proven. These things may have theories and ideas as to what the truth may be, but these may not be proven within my lifetime if at all.
I have had the pleasure to interact with those of other faiths and take part in their traditions and festivals. I have celebrated Diwali with my partner who was raised in the Hindu faith and taken part in prayers for a recently departed family member with him. This has not only given me a deeper understanding of the Hindu faith but has enabled us to become closer examining our shared beliefs together at a challenging time.
A dear friend of mine invited me to share in a time of great celebration for her: her wedding. She is of Libyan decent, and her wedding and the associated events, followed the traditions of Muslim unions. I knew early on that I was one of a very small number of attendees from outside the Islamic faith and so dedicated time into researching the key parts of these ceremonies so that I would be able to assist where required. Having the privilege to be a part of this was incredible and it was a sensational experience. I am certain we are better friends because of this.
When I think about my beliefs and my faith in relation to the population of this great nation, I know that I am merely one of a much bigger picture but nonetheless, I hope that my experiences can be used to show that we are at our best when we look for our similarities and work together toward the future.
Alison Osborn is a Scout Network member with Pegasus Scout Network and Skills Instructor with Stanley’s Own Scout and Guide Band and has reflected on this as part of her King’s Scout Award.