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jeanna's avatar

Can you list things you don't really believe in but feel obligated to follow/celebrate/believe, and can you tell me why you feel obligated?

Asked by jeanna (2059points) March 23rd, 2009

I was inspired by Boots question regarding celebrating dates and I feel like we are usually doing such things because others believe in doing it so we feel obligated to do so.

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16 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

Here’s my list:

Yes, that was a nonexistent list. I do not uphold traditions or beliefs simply because I feel obliged to. Life’s too short to spend it living the way others want you to. Plus, I feel it’s more disrespectful to go through the motions without the intent than it is to forgo both.

kenmc's avatar

Birthdays and family traditions.

jeanna's avatar

@dynamicduo Awesome response. So many things in life are this way, with people doing them or believing out of obligation. Religion comes to mind, at least with those people that only believe and practice because of their family.

dynamicduo's avatar

Religion is indeed one of the ones that comes to mind quickest. I am very glad my family did not force any religion on me, and let me find things for myself and become the person I truly am and not some reflection of themselves. I do not fault those who choose to uphold such traditions, so long as they do not fault me for not upholding them.

forestGeek's avatar

Christmas is really the only one for me. I’m atheist, and only celebrate because I have a kid and it’s important to my family. I never pretend as if the religious thing means anything to me, it always obvious that I’m there for family…and gladly there for the family, as they mean the world to me!

jeanna's avatar

@forestGeek I’ve been wondering how I will be as a parent one day since I am not a believer. I suppose the idea of Christmas would be one I’d have to seriously consider celebrating.

iJimmy's avatar

American Idol

I feel obligated because if so many other people think these things are amazing, there must be something to it and maybe someday I’ll find it myself.

jeanna's avatar

@iJimmy haha Fair enough. When you find it, do let us know. :)

forestGeek's avatar

@jeanna – Yeah, it’s hard for me, definitely! I grew up Catholic, including 8 years of Catholic schooling, but dumped it all when I realized it was not for me. I hadn’t gone to church in over 10 years, but I recently went to be there with my mom, and it actually made me quite happy to see my mom so happy to have me there. It’s a trade-off that I’ve recently found is worth it.

As for raising kids while being atheist, I feel that Christmas has become so less connected to Christianity over the years, that even if you’re a non-believer, the ideas of family coming together, sharing, giving, etc., are good enough reasons to consider celebrating it. My daughter definitely knows that our Christmas is not about gifts or religion, but about being together as a family.

Jiminez's avatar

We’re caught in these patterns; not wanting to be the one to break them or point out how lame they are. Much like @iJimmy, there are a few that I feel obligated to follow; college, capitalism, everyday formality.

essieness's avatar

Probably Christmas. I’m not a Christian first of all, and the fact that Christmas has been blown WAY out of proportion in recent years just irks me. I start getting super pissy around Thanksgiving when all the Santas and lights and trees start appearing. But, my family and friends dig it, so I play along.

I will say that this past Christmas was one of my favorites. My family didn’t exchange gifts, but we wrote letters of appreciation to one another. It was a nice break from the monotony of meaningless gift giving/getting.

casheroo's avatar

I celebrate holidays with family get togethers, but I’m not religious at all..and neither is my family. We still do Easter and Christmas though. I don’t feel obligated..I like celebrating them.

augustlan's avatar

At this point in my life, I don’t think there’s much of a list for me. I celebrate Christmas because it’s a lovely holiday, and we have an Easter dinner party with lots of friends, but it’s really all about the food and the margeritas. About the only thing I can think of is ‘elbows off the table’ when I’m in mixed company or at a restaurant. I think it’s a stupid, outdated rule, but I follow it so as not to appear rude or uneducated.

J0E's avatar

Birthdays for sure, I hate celebrating my birthday.

SuperMouse's avatar

I feel obligated to celebrate Christmas and Easter, mostly because I have young children and it has always been part of my family tradition.

VzzBzz's avatar

Obligated- absolutely nothing.
Celebrating isn’t about obligation.

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