This I Believe

Robbie - Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Entered on October 13, 2006

This I believe, that one should not have beliefs, but ideas. That is the reason that I have changed the title of this essay from “This I believe” to “This I think.” With that said, I think that once people have taken an idea to the point where it is no longer an idea but a “belief,” it has reached a point where it is near impossible to change.

As a young adult I sat and examined belief systems, such as Catholicism. I noticed that when these systems started making people buy into their ideas not as ideas but beliefs people became obsessed if you will. The people had beliefs that even if better idea came along could not be changed. Each idea in these belief systems became beliefs themselves to those who bought into the belief systems. While some ideas may be good and others not so much, because the people bought in to the belief system they bought into each belief, this can create conflicts between beliefs.

When one challenges another’s belief, they are essentially challenging another’s way of life; while when one challenges another’s idea, they are simply challenging the idea. When you are not threatening a persons’ way of life, that person is far more susceptible towards a change of idea. This I think is where my idea becomes a battle between open mindedness and close mindedness.

Close minded people either adopt or are given ideas, which you then cannot change. The idea of being open minded is having ideas, listening to others, and deciding yourself which ideas you prefer over others. While this is freely possible with an idea, it is not with a belief. When a close minded person hears an idea, usually they blow it off or damn the idea; while an open minded person considers the idea and can exchange ideas.

I would like to conclude with, if you must believe, then believe in not believing. This I think that ideas are had and beliefs happen, live by your ideas, until you find reason not to.