Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer?

It is keeping peace and good relations between people,

as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.

- Prophet Mohammed


Day 17

I always thought that there were typically two types of religious people: the self-righteous and the humble. 

Now, however, I'm just not sure. 

These days, I'm spending an awful lot of time reading Buddhist texts and literature. On an average day, I spend somewhere around five to seven hours reading. That's a lot of reading and it hasn't been just this month either. Since graduating from high school, I have tried to read a book every couple of weeks, but books have never been the bulk of my daily dose. Most of my time is spent reading papers, blogs and essays online. I'm obsessed with American politics and society, so I must feed this desire.

Of course, Buddhism tells me not to concern myself with worldly things and my doctor tells me not to concentrate on things that stress me out, so I need to clamp down on my political digest. In it's place is and will be my books on Buddhism and, as the year progresses, other religious text. Everyday this month, I've been reading about greed and anger. I spend hours reading parables and applying them to my own life, so naturally, some of what I've learned naturally spills into the conversation. That's not a problem in and of itself. The problem is, how can I deliver Buddha's message without sounding like a self-righteous, holier-than-thou snot?

And it's not just religion. I'm new to this religion stuff. I'm pretty confident in a few other subjects, but history is my forte. (Specifically, the colonial and twentieth-century America, and Korean history.) When I talk about those subjects, I come across as a smug prick or a know-it-all. The truth is is that most people are the opposite of know-it-alls and that's what happens when you know your stuff. The amount of time I'm investing into studying religion this year is certain to have an impact on my knowledge of faith and I'm sure that many people would mistake my limited understanding of religion with self-righteousness, but is that my fault?

How can knowledgeable people share their faith or interest without coming across as preachy?

Are informed people too often deemed self-righteous simply because they know more than the average person?

To be continued...


  1. Wow. This is the same exact challenge that I encounter as a follower of Jesus Christ. I want so much to share the joy and love with others that He has shared with me but don't want to come across as pompous, knowing it all, or even condemning because that is not my heart or intent. Trey and I actually just spent the last two hours in a Sunday small group discussing this. Weird. Thanks for being so candid and transparent about your thoughts, feelings and findings on your journey.

  2. There are those that admire people with much knowledge, that seem to sort of "command" a topic/s. I am one of those. However, I do know those that feel threatened by this type of person. I think much has to do with delivery. One thing I have admired about your delivery is that you usually "give" the other person room for opinion and rebuttal. Some do not do that.