Do You Ever Think Of ALL The Wasted Time Because You Were a JW?
I don't think of it as an absolute complete waste of time. Sure, the thought of all the hours spent in mindless WT activity in field service and meeting prep sucks donkey dong but I see it as part of a journey that got me to where I am now. By contrast, I was able to discover the kind of relationships I didn't want for myself and what was really important to me.
For instance, I discovered freedom of mind is in some ways more important than freedom of speech. We all have to censor ourselves everyday to a degree depending on the situation, but, to be allowed to have our own thoughts and feelings on any given subject is a gift especially after you've been part of a group that made thinking independently of the group wrong and sinful.
Was there easier ways to learn such things? Hell yeah, my biggest mistake in that group was switching off my critical thinking and squashing my own intuition - never do that again.
I have mixed feelings about it. I did waste a lot of time in 'the preaching work' that could have been better spent studying (or even playing video games, for that matter). The meetings were a bore and the the assemblies filled me with dread. But I did make friends that I never would have had I not been a JW and despite our current alienation I still love them and don't regret knowing them.
I also enjoyed going out in field service and learning about other people's religious beliefs. While many of them were just Christian fundies as insufferably dogmatic and judgmental as JWs, I also had the pleasure of conversing with atheists, new agers, neo-pagans and ufo enthusiasts. I had a hard time concealing my fascination with other belief systems and often had to remind myself that I was there to tell them about my religion, not learn about theirs.
In retrospect, being a JW meant feeling bored and stifled most of time, but there were just enough good things about it to make me hesitate over regretting I wasn't just raised a Methodist instead. The only aspect of my childhood I totally and unequivocally regret is having to attend public school 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. It took up far more of my time than the JWs did and gave me absolutely nothing back in terms of compensation. I wasted so many hours in what was essentially daycare that I could have invested in really learning something; not to mention all the bullying and sexual harassment I had to endure...
Is the bottle half empty of half filled? Sure, I wasted alot of time being a JW. Whether it was meetings, field service, assemblies, that time is gone and I can't ever get it back. However, I have gained something very important. It makes you appreciate your freedom much more. When I see the "friends" in the door to door work on Saturday morning, I feel sorry for them as I enjoy my life unshackled from the org. Instead of attending the TMS or the CLAM or the service meeting or whatever it is called now, I'm enjoying the small family that I still have outside the org. My friends and PIMI family shun me, but now I have quality, unconditional friends and some family. I'm just glad that I'm out. :)
The longer you are out the more you see how a cult steals all your time, resources and energy. We wasted so much because we were Witnesses!
I don't dwell on that, and I feel happier that I am out, that I left, and more importantly, that being a JW was not my decision. I was raised in that organization. I walked away from it all and gave myself a good chance at the life that I have built for myself, which seems to be envied by some.
To me is a waste of time to swell on the time wasted. However, it has been good for me to keep in mind where I come from; that keeps me in the right path in life.
I do. But at the same time i think of it as something that made me what i am. I know this bullshit cult inside out, i know their arguments, i know their elders rules, i know how Watchtower works and how their members think - because i used to think that way too.
I do have some really happy memories as a kid such as the conventions in football statia (dont remember a single convention talk tho!) where there's be catering tables and you could buy cakes and fizzy drinks. I liked the witness house parties that were secretly worldly (most of whom have woken up and left). My regret is actually getting baptized and knocking on doors.
I should have went to university sooner and i should have spent more time on myself.
But i consider myself fortunate that i got out at 31yo and not 60+yo.
I cannot think about it...it angers me. Born ins...it is all you know and your circuits get set as a kid....I was stuck in a place I wanted to love because I believed it was truth....but deep down it was a conundrum....wasted years....terrible.
I agree the time I sent in the WT could have being better used in getting a better education and a better job but I cannot undue the past. I look to my past as a life lesson and move on to make my present life better. Regardless look at the time you were in the organization as a growing experience that we all had to go through to get to where we are today.
I try not to think about it, honestly. My heart aches whenever I try; especially considering that my mother, grandparents, and great grandmother are still in the Org. The fact that I was taught to fear every single thing in life, and that the God we were worshiping might just kill me if I wasn't good enough, and I might just bear witness to the destruction of 90% of life on earth, you can't do that to a child and expect them to grow up okay.
But I have a great love for my family, regardless of the pain that I went through in the past, I'd do it again if it meant that I got to keep being known as their sister/daughter.
I don't look at it as wasted time. Yes I used up a lot of time in the past as a jw but I would have used the time anyway.
Because of my jw upbringing I
don't smoke cigarettes
have developed a solid work ethic
have the ability to deal with the public
This can be argued that if I wasn't a jw I might be doing these things anyway. That is true. No one can choose where they are born or what their religious upbringing is.
because of my jw upbringing I
didn't attend university thus not earning a degree( in my case it doesn't matter because my trade is so specialized they don't teach it in trade schools thus there is a shortage of qualified people in my field driving up wages much higher than most university graduates earn . If that matters anyway . You have to love what you are doing the money is secondary)
never dated anyone other than my wife( been married 30 years!)
never experimented with drugs until later in life(mj is not what they say it is so I didn't miss out on much )
Did I waste time as a jw? Yup
Would I have wasted time as a non jw? yup
Does it matter and does anyone care? Nope
I can only imagine how much silver I could have had if I bought it instead of wasting money on Worldwide Damnation Funds, buying supplies for field circus, and expenses that come with going to boasting sessions and field circus (suits, poisonburgers, and the like). Back then, it took between 4 and 5 toilet papers to buy one ounce of silver--and, if they expected me to pay them a toilet paper each way to and from boasting sessions, that alone wasted just short of an ounce of silver a week (or 12 silver dimes).
Besides the time I had to waste. I wonder how much better a job I could have got during the period between 1989 and 1996 had I not had to have every Sunday morning or afternoon (and they alternated) and every Tuesday and Thursday evening off for boasting sessions. That was when workers were real scarce, and pay was on the high end of the scale if you were available during the above mentioned times. Field circus also stole plenty of time--each time I went out (assuming I stayed out 2 1/2 hours), I wasted roughly 4 hours between getting ready and returning home.
And for what? To help enslave the whole human race, that's what. The damnation book, for instance, harped on our days being 70 years--if by exceptional mightiness, it could reach an absolute top of 80. Yet those days were full of hurtful things. By being at those boasting sessions and in field circus, I was helping joke-hova bring about those as absolute limits. It also harped on being poor as a virtue--ensuring poverty and stupid hardship. (And bad health.) As if being poor and/or in bad health helped one to serve joke-hova (it did help that thing to enslave the whole human race, but not much else).
I think I would rather have the silver.