This I Believe

Art - Richmond, Virginia
Entered on August 14, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in God, and that nothing is beyond, beneath or in betrayal of God’s will. I believe in eternity, and a limitless universe (for I can conceive of neither timelessness nor (spacelessnes ) and, within the confines of these beliefs, that the human race is infinitesimally small, yet miraculous, and capable of divine endeavor.

I believe that God’s care for mankind resides primarily in mankind’s care for itself, and that the true and complete deity can endure our loss without much regret, should we bring about that loss through neglect of our virtues. I believe our destiny is both simple and profound. It is what it is, and, what we are able to make of it.

I believe this planet, and the life it supports are imperiled, and that far different use of our time and resources are both right and duty, in order to serve that life, its progeny, and our best understanding of God. I believe this belief is far from new, that in fact, it’s as old as the conscience of man, and that yet it remains as prone to confusion, and exposed to misuse as it has ever been.

But I believe above all, in hope, in reason, in humility, courage, fairness and faith.

Adrift in a sea of doubt, battered by endless waves of adversity, I believe hope is the prow of the ship, the elegant device that guarantees continuance. Unto the very end, success may elude us, but failure itself must fail in the face of hope. I believe a worthy craft is not enough, the art is in navigation, and that reason is the means by which we reliably find our way. Now, the cost of reason can be high .En poursuivant la verite,’ de temps en temps, tomber les ideas plus comfortables.

Faith is the jewel in the crown of man, and not to be squandered in defiance of truth. I believe humility stems from strength, bravado is a poor substitute and courage is something wholly other: to admit wrong, lay down one’s defenses and trust an enemy’s honor… then with fairness, to begin again with no recrimination for the sins of the fathers to vanquish inequity, saving faith for the difficult things.

And finally, I believe that if true and lasting change can occur, it may be –at its inception- even more swift and brief than these few words.

While sermonizing has its place, I believe it’s insufficient of itself alone to the challenge of rectification, when discord is acute. Without pragmatic enlightened guidance, any and every effort, no matter how noble, is fore-defeated, for the strongest bricks and the most ingenious design are nothing if founded in mire, and this I believe, is our lot.

We are so many now. Whether we’re seen as individuals, ideologies, nations, races, faiths, sects, classes, generations or genders, we are divided. Our number grows, our resources wane, poison is spreading and we will not unite. It would seem that none can find enough in common with [500 words] everyone else, to out- weigh the obvious differences. By innumerable passionate concerns are we conflicted and conflict is serving us ill. Now, this is perhaps as it should be, for change(though a constant of the universe) can come slowly to civilization, and practice, long established and accepted as beneficial, if no longer so, must needs reveal itself as such, before we might reform it.

What is this practice, and what is the alternative? This is the question one fears, for to proceed is to offend, to offend is to alienate, and to alienate, to doom. This, is a difficult thing; so difficult as to be worthy of faith.

For a species to change its ways, surrender its advantages, and release age-old attachments, it’s imperative that it trust itself. One can’t even say which is harder, to embrace and uphold such trust, or to merit it. This is the two-fold challenge each of us must meet before all of us can address the rest.

To trust or be trusted takes time, time in which action speaks louder than words. If in fact, God’s care for mankind resides primarily in mankind’s care for itself, we should employ our time in caring.

To care for the wealthy and the well, cease hostility. To care for the impoverished and the ill, make war on famine and disease. To care for the yet unborn, protect their planet, and thus inspire trust all round.