This I Believe

Eric - Oakwood, Illinois
Entered on September 19, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

“All our progress is an unfolding like a vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I am eight years old and going out for a long pass, I can feel every blade of grass between my bare toes. “C’mon boys, time for dinner!” yells my mother from the front porch of our little brown middle class home. Sweaty and tired from the weekend’s antics my two brothers and I sit at the kitchen table as a chance to catch up on past experiences and potentially engage in some intelligent conversation. ‘It is times like these,’ I think to myself, ‘I hate to think about the future.”

I don’t ‘believe in’ much, or put my “faith” in any particular direction; however, I do believe a great many things. I believe the grass is green, the sky blue, and the sea that funny turquoise color. The birds fly and the fish swim, and we are stuck in between. There are a lot of beliefs in this world, so it is hard for me to believe any one person is right or wrong. So I have some trouble in deciding what idea I feel most strongly about. After much deliberation I have decided that of the endless amount of things I have to worry about as a 17 year old, I believe the thought of the future is indeed the scariest; therefore, I have come to the conclusion that I believe the future is best left alone until it is the present.

Mr. Emerson compares our lives to a vegetable bud in his quotation. I believe his analogy is accurate but does a poor job encompassing the whole spectrum of human emotion that comes into play in every day life. We can’t compare our lives to a plant bud; a plant does not feel emotion, it has no thought of self realization, and no concept of morality. It literally stays in the ground all of its life and then it dies. If this is an example of the emotionally complex life we all live then that would lead one to believe one’s life isn’t worth very much.

My whole life, so far, has been one big emotional roller coaster, full of ups and downs, lefts and right, and rights and wrongs. I believe as Mr. Emerson does. First, we believe in what was first spoon fed to us when we were young; we call this instinct. Then we believe in things that sometimes have no grounds for belief, which comes with teenage hormones. Then we gain knowledge and life experience to formulate an opinion. He closes the quote with “trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.” Why would I trust an instinct when I have life experience to back up an opinion? Upon leaving Earth having gained all sorts of knowledge and experience, the one piece of advice I would leave with future generations is that you should do what you feel, and not what you think. In this way you are true to yourself no matter who you are, and you are also more unique than any person who follows just a thought.