Religion has never made much sense to me. In many ways, there’s not much that I believe in. But then at the same time, there are many things that I do believe in. I believe in trying to live a good life. I believe in being a good husband, a good friend, a good father, and a good person. I do not feel that you need religion to accomplish those things; however, it is an excellent guide for when things get tough. It is a guide to look back on and to fall back on when you are not able to keep striving towards those goals. It is a guide to pick you up, set you back on the road, and give you some direction.

          So as someone who does not believe in religion, where do I get this guide from? What do I count on when I need a little help? I count on friends, family, fun, barbeques, beer, music, hobbies, and anything that can clear my mind and get me thinking a little straighter again. One of those activities is golf. Golf is very unique. It’s fun, relaxing, and rewarding, while at the same time, being difficult and frustrating. It’s an escape. You have time to just unwind, relax, drink, and be on one of the most beautiful things on earth; a golf course.

          Probably the most important characteristic of golf is the fact that it can’t be perfected. This characteristic makes it a perfect metaphor for life. You can work constantly to perfect your game, but it’s impossible. The only thing you can hope to accomplish is that with time, hard work, devotion, and practice, you can slowly improve a little more each day until you get to a point you are happy with. And one of the most important characteristics about a golfer, that ties perfectly into the metaphor for life, is that when you do get to that point, it is still not good enough. You can always improve. You can always do something a little different, or take a different approach. Do you work around the fairway, or cut through the trees? Do you take the almost impossible shot at the green, or lay it up short so you have an easier second shot? Do you try to hit it out of the badger hole or do you take a drop? These are your choices to make and you won’t know until you make them if they were the right or wrong choice. If it was the right choice, use it again next game. If it was the wrong choice, you can learn from it, move on, and ultimately, making the wrong choice once in a while will improve your game.

            I am not, or at least I hope that I am not, the only one who has seen how many lessons taken from golf can relate to our everyday lives. How we can use golf to make our lives better for ourselves, our friends, our families, and complete strangers. Just like golf, Hioism (pronounced HIGH-oh-is-um) is supposed to be entertaining while you learn about this practice. It is not meant to directly and perfectly relate to every aspect of every person’s lives; just as how every person does not golf the same. They do not use the same grips, the same stances, the same strategies, or make the same decisions on the course. The stories in Hioism are not meant to be taken as non-fiction and are not meant to be taken literally. They are only meant as an example of how Hioism can guide you to live a better life. 

           I do not believe in pushing religion or my views on any person. I do not believe in trying to make people believe exactly what I believe. If you find truth or motivation in Hioism, you should use it. If you do not, then you do not have to. My only hope is that through the practices and teachings in Hioism, you can find a center to your life, find happiness, and find the enlightenment that so many people could be searching for.