This I Believe

Adrian - Burlington, Vermont
Entered on June 6, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: purpose, question

I believe the human condition is capable of tremendous richness of experience – experience of beauty and of horror – and that our inborn capacity for feeling and empathy, when appropriately cultivated, makes it possible for each of us to contribute to the flourishing of others, but through the reduction of others’ capacity to also contribute to the reduction of their being. This gives us choice, freedom, and responsibility.

I believe the quality of our freedom increases with the quality of our relations and of our kindness towards others, both human and nonhuman. I believe the results of our actions imprint themselves on us and on others, consciously or unconsciously, and that these imprints remain to be worked out and resolved, if not in this generation then in those to come.

I believe our capacity for being is nourished by deep reserves of empathy and of energy on which we can draw and which we can cultivate, through our culture of perception, of insight, and of wisdom passed from one generation to the next and rediscovered as necessary.

I believe the world today presents us with incredible challenges – social, political, ecological and ethical challenges on a scale rarely seen before – but that putting our minds together and choosing the search for solutions over that for short-term comfort and personal gain, and remaining open to the calls of that world upon our being, I believe we can meet those challenges with dignity and with honor. This I believe, and to this end I dedicate myself.