As I talked about yesterday in the Unigraph ship it, I got out of my comfort zone and reached out to a stranger out of the blue and arranged a call. Then today I had another call with a different person I hadn’t met before, who was from the Write of Passage course that just ended last week.
It’s really neat to be able to connect with these “random” people on the Internet. In today’s case, we both had written about a similar topic (leaving religion). Because we had that shared connection, that let us dive straight into a deeper conversation, leaving behind the small talk about shared weather, recent TV shows, news, etc.
One of the things we discussed was a good aspect of religion, the community: feeling special as a minority group within society, the security of having each others’ backs, and the sense of belonging. This is a big thing that many who have left religion (and wasn’t hurt by it) miss.
There is a bit of tribalism involved. But that’s okay as long as there isn’t polarization involved with looking down on those outside of your tribe. Being exposed to other worldviews, while not committing to one, places us in a precarious position of uncertainty. This sitting on the fence sometimes leaves us feeling even more like outcasts, not fully accepted by any side. We try to balance open-mindedness and skepticism as we try to understand the truth about reality.
The online cohort-based courses (CBCs) that I’ve been taking have been filling this hole somewhat for me. When I was a Christian, if I met another stranger who was also Christian, we would instantly feel a sense of connection (especially if we hailed from similar denominations). Now I get this feeling when meeting people in CBCs. Sometimes I see the same person in multiple courses because we are interested in the same kind of personal development and skills. I feel like I’ve found my “tribe” of like-minded people. Yet they are diverse enough to surprise me with new perspectives to learn from and help shape my own perspective.