Derived from the Latin expression “Suum cuique” meaning “to each his own” or “may all get their due”. A rather fitting title for this topic with the question being, what do you believe or believe in? I believe in a lot of things. I believe the world is round. I believe I can’t fly because of, apparently, gravity. I believe pineapple has no place on top of any thing that comes out of a pizza oven and as a bit more common in each or a fairly large portion of us all, I believe in an omnipotent overseer, but not in the usual narrative that we’re breast fed from our upbringing. At a point, yes but as the title goes, suum cuique.

You’re a self-conscious being. Sometimes it passes you by while you breathe autonomously, other days each breath is intentional like when you try to meditate. How often each day do you notice that you breathe without your own permission and on a darker note, I guess you stop without it too… but moving on.

To be self-conscious is to bring your attention to the very fact of your existence,

as well as whatever actions come about due to said existence from the way you talk to strangers while trying to shift your body language so as not to appear rude, to the moment someone you fancy walks through the door and you start having a pre-existential crisis.

In a way, to be self-conscious is to be aware of the unknown future and how each step or action you take affects it, and though it comes easy to some, for the religiously bred, there’s always one particular question that will lurk behind every shadow waiting to shift the tides. You can either choose to confront it and question what your life would be like

should you look away from a belief so fundamental in your upbringing, though contradicting at times to what you see before you, or should you choose to continue on the path you’ve been walking mentally strengthening everything that aligns with said beliefs?

That said, we come back to our first question, what do you believe?

Do you believe in heaven or hell?

Do you believe in the overseer?

Do you believe you’re going to heaven?

What have you done to make you believe so?

Do you believe it is a privilege only for the people that are within your specific religious sect?

Do you believe that other people’s beliefs are wrong and why?

Do you believe your book is right?

Why do you believe your book is right?

Have your personal experiences played a part in strengthening what you believe in?

Do you use your personal experiences to justify why others should believe what you believe?

Do you think only your personal experiences are relevant in helping others choose their beliefs?

If a person with other beliefs is as “good” as you, it shows that your beliefs are not a universal metric for being a “good” person so are they wrong in their beliefs and why?

Are you sure your perception of your beliefs is the right one among all the other views and why do you think so?

And finally, drum roll please, does it really matter what other people believe in?

Our beliefs shape who we are as individuals and are formed, reshaped, and strengthened through our personal experiences making them uniquely ours. We walk separate paths from everyone, more so those from different national backgrounds than ours. We know not our neighbour, so how much more can we know from those far away, from lands of different soil and skins of different tones? No one has to believe what you believe, and no one is wrong for that. If I’m to rephrase my questions in a different manner I’d ask,

Do your beliefs make you judge others with some kind of moral superiority?

Do your beliefs make you condemn people to eternal damnation on behalf of your overseer?

Does your overseer send people to eternal damnation because of something they ate or said or drank that you feel you are universally exempted from because you said sorry?

Do you hide under the guise of trying to help people whilst secretly judging them for their atrocities?

Do your beliefs fill you with guilt?

If you answered yes, or no but secretly deep down you know it’s a yes because you can’t lie to yourself then the problem isn’t your beliefs, surprise right? The problem is, wait for it, well you get the point. There are so few beliefs compared to the 7 billion, or 8, I lost count, people following them and to an extent, a fairly large number of those people share yours but just don’t view it the way you do. Same class, different grades. The problem isn’t the class, the problem is you.

But despite all this, I bring back the title suum cuique.

To each their own.

Belief is important. Belief gives us faith, belief gives us hope that in the midst of your awareness of an uncertain future, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Your beliefs have harmed no one, hopefully.

Your beliefs have pulled you out of your dark places, your beliefs have strengthened your bonds with some of the people closest to you and or given you a community to belong to, assuming that community isn’t out for everyone but moving on.

Your beliefs are important, and again does it really matter what other people think? No, of course not but neither does it matter what you think on behalf or presumably behalf of other people.

As insignificant as theirs are to you, yours are and should be the same to them.

You don’t get the right to point middle fingers and refute those that come your way.

Believe what you want, you’re a grown man or woman. If you’re to talk to others, teach them the lessons of your beliefs, don’t make them think that having the same beliefs is the only way to learn the same life lessons you have and above all, try to be a good person. Your beliefs or star signs should be irrelevant here in determining whether or not you become one. The world’s not fair, but we can make it maybe not necessarily fair, as the right word, but better if I’m to say.

We don’t have to be the same to get along or be happy. Unless you like pineapple pizza, you’re an anomaly but that’s a topic for another day.

Suum Cuique.

Written by: Tarique Katuntu