This I Believe

Josiah - University Heights, Ohio
Entered on December 2, 2006

When I recently read a collection of This I Believe, essays, I felt inspired to write my own, yet I decided at the time that I didn’t really believe in anything strong enough to write an essay on. While I read the essays, both new and old, I thought these people are very passionate about what they believe. Which in some ways can be good but, I also believe in what Mark Twain said as well, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” In other words, I thought it is too dangerous to be so sure of something, that you feel the need to exclaim it to the world. So I put the idea to rest of writing an essay.

Less than a week later, 5:00 am on a Saturday morning, half asleep, I woke up spontaneously mid way through reciting my essay.

The truth is I believe in many things. I believe in the good and the bad, right and wrong and pros and cons. I believe in the left and the right, liberal and conservative and checks and balances. I believe in the judge and the jury, the neutral, the prosecution and the defense. I believe in the conscious and the subconscious (which is, after all, how this essay began, as a dream). I believe in religion and science. I believe in ups and downs, good days and bad days, emotional highs and lows, good luck and bad luck, being happy and sad. I believe in being passionate and apathetic, interested and concerned. I believe in good bosses, bad bosses and the mediocre ones too. I believe in the rich and the poor, even the super rich and the dirt poor. I believe in big cities and small towns, suburbs and ghettos.

You see in each moment, of everyday I believe in many different things. Most of all, however, I believe that each of our brains is a sponge, we must soak it all in. Every experience, whether we want to or not, we must soak into our brains and systematically register how we felt about that experience. For it is from these experiences, this vast expanse of a life-time of knowledge, this sponge, that we draw upon to make decisions in our life.

I believe, it is how we choose to wring out the sponge, that defines us.