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Posts Tagged ‘ramble’

While procrastinating on Twitter, I came across the profile of a reasonably well-known BBC sports presenter. Not so well-known that I recognise him, but some people would. He described himself thus: “Cake lover, Christian, husband of 1 & father of 3”, after describing his occupation.

It got me wondering about what people use to define themselves. In this case, I supposed it was his job, his religion, his family and his love of cake, which he probably includes on Twitter as many people do also love cake. (Though I don’t actually ‘love cake’ myself).

I use Twitter to talk mostly, and unashamedly, about sport, and so my profile says: “Athletics aficionado. Hampshire supporter. Loyal Luton. Cricket nut. I am a sports addict with a passion for sport writing.” Is this how I define myself? As someone who likes sport a lot and also happens to enjoy writing? The man’s profile seems much more personal, and yet, I don’t really care that much that he loves cake. I wouldn’t follow someone on the basis of their food preferences after all.

In this man’s profile, it was the use of ‘Christian’ that intrigued me the most. I wondered how much of a difference that would make to his potential followers. Do people choose to follow him because he says he is a Christian? Would they therefore believe he has a strong moral code?

I’m happy for anyone to be whatever religion they want, as long as it’s not some sort of kitten slaughtering religion, but it surprised me that someone would use it so openly on a social networking site. I’ll admit now, I struggle with religion. It isn’t because  I’m waging a big war in my head between myself and God/s about  whether to believe in him/her/them/it or not. (I use ‘it’ because as a child I genuinely believed God was a turtle). I am just not religious at all. And I will openly admit that I don’t understand it. Not one single aspect of it.

I understand that religion plays a massive role in many people’s lives, but their religious beliefs (aside from kitten slaughter) would not have a bearing on whether or not I would follow them  on Twitter, or indeed, whether I would befriend them in real life.

That was why this man’s openness about his religion surprised me so much. Does he believe that his religion defines him just as much as his job and his family life?

I did wonder about what does actually define a person.

I decided to use his criteria to make a profile for myself: Occupation, something I like, beliefs and something that means a lot to me.

I came up with this: Student, sport lover, agnostic/atheist, hopefully good friend, daughter and girlfriend (though not to the same person. Obviously.)

I don’t like it, though. Maybe it’s different when you’re married and have children? And maybe it’s different when you actually have a religion. Indeed, I feel kind of odd about broadcasting my non-religious beliefs, in part because I feel as though I have no right to discuss religion. Does somebody with no religious beliefs have a right to talk about it? And indeed, I’m not sure I can talk about it without being offensive. On Facebook for a long time, my religion was cricket. It is now listed as pastafarianism because I think the whole thing is hysterical (and agree that creationism should not be taught alongside evolution).

Maybe it’s my lack of belief that makes me feel uneasy about people that do define themselves by their religion, as if their being was purely to be good in the eyes of God/Gods/turtles.

I suppose, because I don’t define myself by religion (and don’t really intend to), I just have to define myself by other means. I don’t really have anything to prove to anyone except myself, and and if I am a horrible person, ultimately I am only letting myself down because I don’t believe that I will go to heaven or hell for my wrongdoings.

But if I can’t define myself by my religion, nor by my family since I have no children, do I by default have no definition?

Perhaps it is better to be just a person? After all, nobody would write a rambling, nonsensical blog like I have just done about a person with nothing really to define them.

Or maybe I can be defined by my love of sport, my generally cheerful self and my enthusiasm for writing?

Any thoughts? Reply here, or send me a message on Twitter. 

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