This I Believe

Michael - Palos Hills, Illinois
Entered on November 22, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

One early morning I took a walk through the woods as I came across a small bird, a dead bird. My first thought was to walk on as an empty feeling started to creep in. Instead I took a seat on the gravel trail and stared in confusion. It looked as though the bird had been dead for many days, due to the pale discoloration in the eyes. His eyes were not shut but wide open. At first the more I thought about it the more depressing the morning became. Then it occured to me that this was not a sad sight at all. This corpse of a bird was nothing, a hollow carcus. As I looked even closer, I could see ants feeding on the remains. It occured to me that this was the only truth. Life, in the present moment, is the only fleeting certainty obtainable. This bird had no knowledge of himself nor thought, motion, happiness, sadness or grief. It was inexistant. A state completely innocent of nostalgia, deprived of guilt or any thoughts of revenge. The regret I felt earlier was replaced with an

ephemeral sense of beauty. A presence of the present. A constant gratitude for the present carries on inside me to this moment.

I believe the world oscillates, unfamiliar to the workings of a clock but dances to an unheard symphony. You can allow yourself to be moved by lifes untimely oscillations, but I choose to always hold an appreciation for life in the present. Whenever I feel dissolved and opressed by the complexity of the world I take a few conscious breathes and tune into the

symphony of life playing in the present. It gives me an eneffable sense of ecstacy. At the same time I also try to carry a knowledge that everything can disapear in an instant. I don’t beleive in fearing this because just as the bird, when that second comes, the second after is simply nothingness. I choose to carry this knowledge to help me apreciate the beauty in life. At times when you feel tied up in hate, self-reproach, and angst remember this. Know that the world materially is the

same for everyone, but the looking glass you choose to view it through is truly your own.

I believe that everyone and everything is truly diffrent but of equal value.

I believe that violence is apart of nature but not the only part.

I believe that preoccupation with oneself is the heart of all lonliness.

I believe that true love is ephemeral and eneffable.

I believe that everything can be laughed at. Everything.

I believe that everything can be taken seriously. Everything.

I believe that all things when broken down are connected. (especially at the subatomic level)

I believe that religion divides people.

I believe that beliefs should come from within, not from without.

I believe that nothing is certain.

I believe in change.

I believe in the present tense.

I believe in right now.