I am an atheist

img_1226I am a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods. I never got brought up this way, I have always been told to have an open mind and that I should never say never. I have many reasons for disbelieving in a God or gods, and until I started University I thought religion was pointless and a waste of time. A few of my reasons very briefly would be something along the lines of:

  1. Where is the evidence for God
  2. I don’t like the argument of design (the argument that says the world is so beautiful ONLY God could have created it)
  3. Since the entire universe and all of creating can be explained by evolution and scientific cosmology, we don’t need the existence of another entity titled God.

However, this post wasn’t about why I don’t believe in God or about how stubborn I was when it came to the argument about God. This post was to say that just having a better RME (religious and moral education) knowledge has let me open my eyes and become obsessed wbhnf52251ith now trying to learn about as many different religions as possible.

My RME knowledge before University was that I watched Avatar in RME in High School, I learned something about the 5 Ks in Sikhism and that Jesus was the reason for Christmas and Easter. Now, since beginning my University journey I have learned that all of these religions are so beautiful and interesting.  They have stories to tell, they are the reason people push forward in life and even if something bad is happening – their religion gives them hope. Now, for me, that is extremely important. Hope is what the world needs in a world filled with hate and abuse and Trump. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen, it is a feeling of trust and can make people in the darkest of places feel better because they have something to believe in.

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Taking away the fear of just teaching in general, I felt reasonably confident in all other areas of the curriculum in terms of how I felt about the subject. However, only a few subjects (P.E and the expressive arts being the others) made me worry about becoming a teacher and being able to teach without hating what I was teaching. I didn’t want to learn about other religions and I had no interest in learning. However, since I have researched on my own about certain religions (Hindu being my ‘religion of the moment’) I have learned a great deal – and not just about what others believe in but about other important areas. Such as our values, our family, our home, how we feel, how we are to others, kindness and again, hope. When I thought of RME before I though about boring lessons, now I look with new eyes and I am excited to go on placement and teach about the Holi festival, about why Hindus celebrate this and how it is important. I’m excited to incorporate art into this, I am actually looking forward to being out of my comfort zone teaching children about Religion, and with this I have opened my eyes to the Expressive Arts (however, I am still working on how positive I actually feel about this) and to other religions also.

To the people who know me really well. They know how I feel about religion. They know that my views are so strong against the belief in a God etc. However, since looking into not even a handful of religions my mind has been opened. It turns out RME is completely me. It is about kindness(which, by the way – Random Acts of Kindness Day is on Friday 17th Feb), it is about love, trust, respect, believing and hope.

Social Studies Audit

Social Studies is one of my favourite areas as it is about working with people and the communications between individuals with each other. In High School, I received a B in Modern Studies, a D in Geography and went on into college where I achieved two A’s in Philosophy and Psychology and a B in History. All of the social subjects interest me very much as they are all different ways to study the world, for example History is studying people in the past and events and why they happened, Modern Studies is about current affairs and what is happening in our society today, Geography about the impact we are having on the environment and why the world is the way it is. Whilst Philosophy and Psychology are studying peoples beliefs and the way the brain and body think.

It is so important to understand the past, present and future and I think that History, Modern Studies and Geography are so vital to every person to have a basic knowledge of.

Equality v Equity (Part 2)

picture2 In an earlier blog post ( https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/mmkeportfolio/2016/09/20/equity-and-equality-the-difference/ ), I said that equality is not the same as equity: which it is not. But since this blog post I have discovered a new third option (in Vics values class today), and it is that there doesn’t always have to be a choice about if someone is being treated equally and equitably – you can try and remove the cause of the inequality and therefore no one is disadvantaged.

The original picture I have always been aware off, and quite often think of it in situations, but this picture here makes you really think about the fact that there always a simple solution. You just have to remove the barrier.

 

Disabilities and Mental Health.

For me, mental health and disabilities is a topic that is always close to my heart. Since I was 14, I found a love for volunteering, and not just volunteering for Cancer Research or big charity campaigns, but I volunteered for local disability charities. The first time I ever volunteered it was for a fantastic charity called Dreamz4U, the goal was to help children who
are disabled either mentally or physically get their dream. One lucky girl even got to meet Lady Gaga (and this was only a local charity in Edinburgh!). However, I chose Dreamz4U because for me, it doesn’t matter how rubbish I feel, or how hard my day has been because I know that someone else is feeling worse than me, and I know that I can make it better. I volunteered to put smiles on peoples faces, and make sure that while they are with me, I can make them forget the physical or mental pain they are feeling; even if it’s just for a few minutes.

 

I also volunteered with Guide Dogs Kirkcaldy (which was more for the puppies than actually helping people) and I’ve worked with schools and other places. But my favourite, and the one that really made me think was Down Syndrome Scotland. My time there was great, I volunteered for just under two years (I think!) and it was just amazing. I was apart of a new project called Friends Together – which was to make sure than the two voluntees than I took out became friends and wanted to hang out and eventually do so without my company (if the two friends that met up didn’t get along or didn’t bond, we would find someone else as soon as possible). During my journey I met 3 fantastic guys, but they told me horrible stories of how cruel the world can be. I also met one woman in particular who haImage result for mental healthd Downs Syndrome and told me about the abuse she got just from her local shop. She would go in and ask for a newspaper and they cashier would mock her every morning saying that she was “too dumb to read” and “you wont understand”. This breaks my heart, and this is the reason why I volunteer and talk about my experiences so openly. I hate how people can be so nasty, so mean and so cruel and not understand how what they are saying can affect someone. Due to this cashiers words, the lady was too afraid to tell anyone incase they thought she was lying, incase they mocked her too and lived with this for many years. This lady was fully capable of getting a job, being paid and she lived in a house on her own but because she was mocked so much this effected her mentally as well.

Out of this blog post, I wanted to raise awareness on how much a volunteer can change just one life. The lady in question now has a job due to her great volunteers and the 3 guys that I worked with all have jobs now too – when before they were too shy to even speak to myself, they all also have girlfriends and they are best friends too.

But it wasn’t just volunteering, it’s about mental health and disabilities as well. It is about raising awareness of the abuse that goes on, about making sure people feel they can talk to their GP, friends or family if they feel they are suffering with a mental/physical illness, it’s about making sure people don’t judge others because of the way they look/speak/hear/sound/walk etc. and hoping that people open their eyes to everything that is going on around them.

 

My First Month

This is just a brief update about my month so far, and about my first month in University Halls.

On my course so far, I’ve learned so much already. Not only from my lectures and workshops, but actually about myself as a person. I’ve learned that when living with 5 different people that you have never met before it can be seriously challenging, but through this we’ve became stronger as a flat.

From my course so far, it’s been so different from high school and college, I’ve went from having really personal experiences with a small group of people in a local area to somewhere I don’t really know with people I have never met before in huge lecture theatres. However, I am loving it! Our modules are interesting and university life is completely different to what I thought it would be. I imagined a lecturer standing at the front speaking for hours on end and the students just taking notes all day and then us going home and trying to decode what they were saying during that class – but it is so different to this. It’s a great experience.

It terms of the people I have met, they are great too. Everyone is in the same boat – confused, happy and homesick. Today we all agreed to meet after our lecture at the Liar Bar and get to know each other better and it was great, I met a lady who was previously a nurse, a few people I had never spoken to before and a few people who I had never even seen before and we all got along great.

So far, it has been exciting. I can’t wait to have another few years of this.