One thing that has been gettin to me lately, is how many people have complained about my religious views on facebook. Yes I stated that all i need to know I learned from calvin and hobbes, the cartoon, not the philosophers. And no I didn't put christianity, or any other religion for that matter. Well the quick and easy response is that no, I'm not religious, but honestly the more I have contemplated the more I realized that calvin and hobbes really has had a huge impact on how I grew up. The lessons learned in that comic strip, for me, at least have been far more influential then the bible. Blasphemy I know, but let me explain. For me, they way I have come to understand life, and living, and death, and everything in between is your experiences, and ultimately how your experiences make you who you are, and who you become. In essence, Truth, or just truth with out the capital t, is a collection of experiences, and the knowledge and wisdom gained by these experiences. These experiences can be anything and everything under the sun. From a great childhood memory, to a sad happening as an adult. From a comic book, to a Hemmingway novel, to the bible and elsewhere. From interactions with strangers, family, friends, teachers and children. All of these experiences are gathered up and compiled to make you who you are today. And for me, the most important thing, above anything and everything else, it is how you use these experiences and knowledge and life lessons to become a good person. Not a good person by the definitions of christianity or buddhism or religion, but a good person in your own heart. When you bypass all the blockades of lies and facades that we have created to make this costume of a person that we want people to think we are, but the deep down, nitty gritty of who you really are, in your heart of hearts. (whatever that means) It is how you shape and mold these experiences into your personality and into your everyday actions that is really the most important thing about being human. For example, while I am not a Christian, or religious, I grew up in the church, and was raised by the church, and know odds and ends of Jesus' teachings, and tidbits of the bible. For me it is not important that you know every corner of the bible, so much as how you apply this knowledge of the bible into who you are as a person. You could be the greatest biblical scholar to ever live, but if you are a shitty person to the people and animals around you, it doesn't matter for spit. But for me, it doesn't just stop at the bible. Everyone should be using their knowledge of life experiences to become the very best person they can be, with the utilities and advantages that they have. So back to my mine point about my good buddies calvin and hobbes. For me, that comic strip is one of the most important influences on my childhood, and by default my adulthood. You can literally learn everything about life from those two characters. That comic literally had it all. Lessons on life, death, love, hate, friendship, growing up, being young, responsibility, having fun, imagination, the opposite of imagination, creativity, and so so so much more that I can't even begin to tread on. Calvin and Hobbes has been an extremely influential experience for me, in my life. But that is obviously not going to be the same for other people. I am going to go out on a limb by saying that the majority of the people who read this will probably site the bible or Jesus as their biggest influence. And that is great. I'm all for that. Christianity and Jesus have tought me a great deal about how to be a better person to the world around me, and how to be a better person to myself. But for me it is another lesson in the University of Life. And there are soooooo many other lessons and courses that are out there, that should be influential on everyone. People need to broaden their knowledge of the world around them. People, and myself included, need to further their knowledge of philosophy, literature, science, history and all of those subjects, but there are so many more subjects to be Studied. Friendship, or relationships with people, and animals in general, family, nature, imagination, etc. etc. etc. I feel like at this point you probably get where I'm going wit this. So before you get all uppity about my religious views on facebook (not the end all be all of who I am, facebook that is) try and consider my point of view. I definitely feel that if people were molding their personality and life around all of their experiences, not just the "Christian one", there could be so much potential for what this world has to offer. Mix a little Tolstoy with some Bill Watterson. Read some Psalms followed by some Tom and Jerry. Go to church then go play outside. Enjoy youth group but then go kick it with your homies. Sing a gospel song, but then rap your favorite Biggie smalls line, then mellow out to some Sigur Ros or Mum. All of bands, and books, and authors and cartoons, and sermons have something to say about the life experience. And in the end all of these experiences influence who you are. It's up to you to shape how they make you as a person. Hakuna Matata.