I made a promise to myself that when I started writing about traditional African religions and spirituality that I wouldn't become a zealot. I needed to draw the line somewhere. Although, I am dedicated and passionate about what I believe in, I will never solicit people at supermarkets or pass out "Get back to your roots." flyers. I never take any of those people seriously, mainly because they are more like performing artist than spiritualist.
There are the Christian zealots who can quote almost any verse in the bible, but have no clue of what it actually means. There are the lets go back to Africa zealots who hate America, but do nothing about the famine, poverty, and violence that has plagued the continent. Then there are my favorite, the spiritual zealots. They are the vegans, the vegetarians, and the people who strive for the ideal. They are all about the positive and swear by the laws of attraction and the power of intention books. They are the ones who walk around with "lets make peace not war" t-shirts.
They have lopsided beliefs because they think that the world should be about love and joy. When in truth, the world can be a very ugly place. The one thing I learned about being a writer is the power of truth. It hurts, it can be brutal, but it is necessary for spiritual growth. These people have not mastered a religion. Rather, they have mastered a role. They approach their faith like an assembly line, working harder and faster. They are totally obsessed with the results, not understanding that real growth is about peace of mind.
These people are not really spiritual, they are actors, performing artist playing a role. They are more focused on presenting an illusion because they know deep down inside that they are far from the real thing. They know that they can never live up to high expectations that society has placed on them. So they become hypocrites, preaching one thing and then doing another. People become zealots when they fail to see the flaws in their faith and within themselves. So what's the answer to not becoming a zealot? Awareness. Everything in God's creation has good and bad elements, and being in denial about who we truly are does more harm than good.