Developing a worldview

By Fr. Roy Cimagala


WE should, each one of us, develop a worldview as early as possible. This will help us to have a good and deep understanding about ourselves and the world in general, and about the most basic and ultimate dimensions of our life. It gives us a global picture of the meaning and purpose of our life.

Some people see it as some guiding philosophy or ideology they have toward their whole life. A dictionary describes it as “collection of attitudes, values, stories and expectations about the world around us, which inform our every thought and action. It is expressed in ethics, religion, philosophy, scientific beliefs and so on. It is how a culture works out in individual practice.”

Nowadays when many people, especially the youth, are practically just drifting according to the varying conditions in the world, with hardly any consistency in their actuations, or sense of direction and purpose, developing a worldview has become an urgent need. Many do not have a long-term and unified vision about their life, caught and confused as they are in their fragmented understanding of things in general.

A worldview should give us a good and guiding understanding of who we really are, where we came from and where we are supposed to go in our life. It is supposed to show us how we can coordinate and integrate the many aspects of our life. It should give us a clear idea of what ought to be considered of absolute value in life and what only have a relative value.

In other words, when one has a worldview, he can act with clarity of purpose. He can act with great confidence. He would know what to do in any situation, condition or circumstance of his life. He can connect everything into one whole meaningful pursuit in his life.

When one has a worldview, the different aspects and dimensions of his life—the material and spiritual, the temporal and eternal, the short-term and the long-term, etc.—are properly coordinated and integrated. He avoids what St. Paul once said as being like infants, “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” (Eph 4,14)

We should encourage everyone to develop a clear worldview. Especially these days, when there can be so many confusing elements that are all so irresistibly attractive, this need to develop a worldview should be given top priority.

And where and how should we base and develop this worldview? There are actually many sources and methods for this. There are many philosophies, ideologies and spiritualities around. Some have already been historically tested and are found to be helpful, at least in some areas.

But we have to realize that our Christian faith, if lived integrally, can already give us a very good worldview. Of course, living our Christian faith integrally would be a never-ending affair.

And aside from doing all sorts of things to understand and assimilate it better, our Christian faith would always require us to ask for God’s grace. And it will also involve a lot of mysteries for which we should be ready to be trusting in God’s providence as well as being game and sport in the twists and turns of our life. Yes, a lot of sacrifices would be involved.