This I Believe

Charlotte - Nunnelly, Tennessee
Entered on July 7, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: question


I believe at some point in our lives, if not from time to time to time, we question our Beliefs.

Our first set of Beliefs came as we were told

what we ‘should’ Believe. The dogma from which this came varies by individual with our primary professor generally taking the person of a parent or grandparent.

Children, though, seem to be born with a set of questions. “Who made us?” “Who made God?” “Does He have a mama and daddy?” “Why do people die?” “Do animals go to Heaven?” “Why is the sky blue?”

Did we ever receive ‘real’ answers to those inquiries?

When young we accepted the answers given. Not questioning, we went placidly along for a time, staying in a comfort zone created for us and called ourselves “good’.

If, however, complacency sets in, we stagnate. Not only do our minds ferment, but our potential to grow in diverse measures recedes. We dare not ask anyone the forbidden question, “Why?” lest ridicule come our way.

Then there are the rest of us who dare seek answers others are afraid to hear.

I questioned! And it drove my mother crazy!

Dinnertime and the evening news were regularly scheduled at my house as far back as I can remember. That was our family time, our time to share how our day had been, what we had done, what we thought, what we Believed. Politics and world events always seemed to make it into the conversation.

The family consisted of father, mother, child, and maternal grandfather. He was the sage, the patriarch.

I remember wellone evening during a Cronkite feature on the Viet Nam war, ‘Papa’

proclaimed, “If I were a young man today, I’d go to Canada!”

After recovering our flatware from our plates, the floor–wherever it had landed when dropped–my father asked him, “Why?’ Here were, after all, two old soldiers, Papa one of the original Dough Boys in WWI, blinded by mustard gas in Loray, France, and my father one of McArthur’s infantrymen in the

Pacific Theater, awarded the Purple Heart.

Stating it an “undeclared war” in which “our boys have no business dying,” he kept eating and made no further comment.

I took heed to “Papa’s” guidance again when I asked him in reference to yet another news story on the Roe v Wade decision. “When does the Soul enter the Body?”

Being a devout Believer who prayed as his first and last deeds of each day, he directed me to “go to Genesis and read.”

When I did he asked me for my understanding of what I had read. Receiving my reply, he told me, “See, you found your answer.” He didn’t tell me. He left it to me

to form my “Belief” based upon that understanding.

As young adults, we “Boomers” in our altruistic frame of reference sought to answer questions concerning Equality; A World free from Want, Disease, and War; Respect for Nature and all Living Things.

In seeking Universal Good we sometimes questioned what we had been told we MUST Believe. Like the original band of revolutionaries in the first century A.D., our

generation went about focusing on a bigger picture.

Somewhere along the way the long-term conflict that dominated our days came to an end as did our youth. Innocence and optimism may have vanished along

the way. When Spirits waned we settled once again into our omfort zones. When those zones became comfortable no longer,

we questioned–again. Then we began to grow–-again.

For some of us being admonished to not question only stirred the desire to question. Through questioning and seeking answers our own Beliefs took form.

Our turn has come to pass along Beliefs to another generation who, hopefully, will question. For myself, I Believe I will never stop asking questions nor seeking answers in the manner my grandfather guided me

because there will always be a Belief I may need to check out or strengthen.