Atta Ikede

June 4, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 8:06 pm

Earlier this week, i went for a beer with my coworker after work. We ended up talking about happiness. What is happiness? You can’t even define it, so how do you know when you have it?

Walking home afterwards, taking my usual route past the scientology headquarters (they’re in the old transamerica building, right across from the new transamerica building), I found myself thinking about Mormons.

Mormons have been on my mind for a while now, ever since a family vacation to Salt Lake City in early May. The thing that gets me isn’t specific to Mormons – I’ve known religious people and actually have friends who have a similar vibe. I think I’m stuck on the Mormons specifically because (1) their temples were fabulous (2) Salt Lake City was beautiful. We actually went to check out their temple (weren’t allowed to go in, but we could go into the area and take photos and things) and were greeted by several missionaries there. The place was totally crawling with missionaries – i mean, you expect that. It’s their temple. These missionaries were all fresh faced young women. They all wore neat, pressed, modest clothing – knee length skirt, pretty blouses. Very little makeup. They had earnest smiles and they made eye contact and held it. It wasn’t possible to wander around their square there and avoid these missionaries – they engaged. They had name tags pinned to the upper left corner of their blouse. Each name tag included her name and her country of origin. (Side note: Interestingly, while the various missionaries all wore their “uniform” of skirt and blouse, it was pretty easy to tell where women are from. The girl from Korea definitely had a cutesy look to her and seemed to have some kind of anime hair tie. The girl from a country in South America had a bold patterned skirt.)

These women all had a specifically earnest look on their faces. Talking to them, it was clear they really believe what they’re talking about. They don’t have questions. If they do, they just suppress them or ask their elders for guidance. A lot of my religious friends are the same.

This ability to believe — just … fervently, believe in something. It fascinates me. On one hand, it scares me. One minute you’re a fervent believer, next minute you’re drinking the koolaid! It’s dangerous! But on the other hand, I’m kind of jealous of those people.

I don’t have fervent belief in my life. I don’t have an answer. I don’t think I believe in the afterlife, but I am not sure there isn’t one. It’s not that I don’t believe, it’s that I don’t know what to believe, so I just can’t be fervent about any one particular belief.

Hmm. I’m trying to figure out where this post is going.

I’m staring out the window.

Now I’m recollecting the serene and confident way that this Mormon missionary was explaining things to me back in Salt Lake City.

Now I’m realizing I don’t think I’m even capable of holding that expression on my face! I just don’t think my face can convey that expression.

I’m now vaguely feeling jealous that these missionaries can feel an expression that I can’t even make!

Sigh. I don’t know where I’m going with this. I think the only conclusion here is … I’m not cut out to be a believer. And I don’t think people like me will ever understand the unilateral believers. There’s just too much of a gulf.


1 Comment »

  1. One feels happy when one’s wishes, desires, dreams, aspiration etc are fulfilled. I googled for happiness and got this link.

    Comment by Dad — June 17, 2010 @ 3:00 am

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