This I Believe

Liz - Skaneateles, New York
Entered on June 23, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe we are more alike than we will ever admit.

We, as human beings, make similar mistakes, indulge in similar pleasures, experience similar nostalgic longings, wishes, hopes and dreams. Because after all, isn’t it inevitable that you will hurt the ones you love? You will cut people off in traffic. You will say things you don’t mean, kiss people you shouldn’t. Perhaps every now and then, on idle Tuesdays while driving home or Sunday afternoons while grocery shopping, you may stop yourself and wonder, did anything of your past ever really happen? It’s true that blue skied days come and go without the chance to go for a walk in the sunshine. Time is sometimes wasted. Hearts are sometimes broken. But everyone experiences these things. It is the lack of attention to these similar small experiences that creates hate and divides this world. We become obsessed with money, power and greed and forget our commonality. Sometimes I would like to ask government officials or CEOs or big men in big suits, WHO DO YOU LOVE?! WHAT NAMES DO YOU REMEMBER? And sit with them for an hour talking about the people they have loved and lost with, the people who have made them weep, laugh and gave them faith. And I have a feeling that their answers would contain similar themes of the answers of the garbage man of the world, the grocery store clerks, or the men and women who live in soup kitchens because whether you make $200,000 a year or $4.00 and hour, you still have stories about your parents, you have people who have hurt you, you have people who have supported you at one time or another. These things unite us.

I believe we need to slow down and acknowledge the little things.

I believe in reading the Sunday paper, listening to the Beatles and taking vitamins. I believe it’s important to say thank you at the grocery store and acknowledge that things will fall apart and you will cry. I believe in learning to be alone.

I believe that if you care about something you should stick with it, that there are some times you can change your mind and there are times you shouldn’t and knowing the difference is crucial. I believe it’s important to have routines, to keep promises and respect those who understand if you don’t keep either once in awhile.

I believe it’s important to go to the public library every month for nothing more than a reminder that you are a part of a bigger society and that books and reading and writing are so very important. I believe it’s important to try things out, to know what you believe in and “be the change you wish to see” as Gandhi urged. I believe we must embrace leadership roles.

I believe in “delicious ambiguity”, the power of forgiveness, of memories, of simple calls just to say ‘hello’. I believe in the love of my mom, being brave and acknowledging when you are wrong.

I believe that falling in love is hard, but it’s worth a shot. I believe that driving and running cure anxiety. I believe in watching re-runs of Nickelodeon and Sunday night TV. I believe in working hard.

I believe we all love more than we will ever admit to and that is our greatest mistake.