I read in USAToday that religion is losing ground. That some 15 percent of Americans say they have no religion. And some claim that religion is a hobby — sorta like crocheting or racquetball.

I have to say that the news didn’t surprise me. I’ve seen evidence of a steady decline in what I view as faithful living for several years now. It doesn’t show up on the evening news and you won’t hear about it at happy hour. It rears itself in ugly little ways — sneaking 20 items in the 15-items-or less lane; cutting someone off on the freeway; being too busy to smile and say hello to a passing stranger. These are small, selfish gestures, but they represent our self-centered thinking and they are eroding the foundation of caring for each other — of “doing unto others.”

No one likes to stand in the QuikCheck behind the customer with a full basket or be the victim of rude drivers, but many of us will subject someone else to this behavior. Why is it so hard to part with a smile? It won’t make you late for your next appointment and it might just be what someone needs to take the edge off a difficult day.

It saddens me that so many people are too busy or self-involved to explore their religion, find a new religion or at the very least, have something to believe in. It’s much easier to say there is no God or I have no religion and go about your business. And all around you, the world supports this view.

So yes, as we see a decline in believing in a higher power, we will continue to see an increase in self-centered, angry and selfish behavior. And less and less reason to believe in each other or anything else.

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