In general, a pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred place in order to experience a personal transformation. There are countless reasons why people choose to go on pilgrimages. Some take the journey to demonstrate religious devotion, while others go to learn about historically significant spiritual events that have taken place at specific destinations. Also, people go on pilgrimages to learn from the holy people they are traveling with. Pilgrimages are necessary to humanity because they encourage community, as well as the growth of individuals, therefore strengthening humanity as a whole.
Pilgrimages benefit society through the values that pilgrims are encouraged to display, including unity with one another and self-discovery. “One of the most important reasons for going on pilgrimage tours and seeing the places of spiritual importance is to meet other saintly people who follow a spiritual path and see how they live” (Das). Each person can look to the other travelers as examples and inspiration of how to live his or her own life. Pilgrimages are opportunities for people to teach one another and learn from each other. In addition to encouraging community, they also help people discover themselves through spiritual awakening. They inspire people “to have a greater appreciation for life’s gifts” (“Why Pilgrimage?”). Traveling allows people to see the beauty of creation, and through this experience, many realize all of the gifts that God has given them. Then, they begin to act more selflessly and humbly, recognizing that humans do not necessarily deserve the gifts that have been provided to them. To some people, a pilgrimage is necessary “when they are at a crossroads in their lives, when undergoing a change in their life’s direction or relationships” (“Why Pilgrimage?”). When an individual feels lost in any aspect of his or her life, a pilgrimage can be a great way to rediscover oneself. The peaceful environment of a pilgrimage helps people clear their minds and center themselves, allowing them to contemplate their lives. Pilgrimages benefit all of the people who participate in them.
Pilgrimages are important to the entirety of humanity because they inspire values within people that are beneficial to society. It is necessary that society is made up of individuals who are selfless and willing to cooperate with others, and pilgrimages encourage these qualities. Overall, pilgrimages strengthen individuals, and strong individuals create a strong society.
Das, Subhamoy. Purpose and Benefits of Pilgrimage. Learn Religions, 30 Jan. 2020, www.learnreligions.com/purpose-and-benefits-of-pilgrimage-1770618.
“Why Pilgrimage?” Pilgrims Way, www.pilgrimswaycanterbury.org/why-pilgrimage/.