This I Believe

Karim - Skokie, Illinois
Entered on January 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Hitler believed in the Aryan race and systematically killed six million people. Saddam Hussein believed he had the right to kill and torture innocent people, and George Bush believes he has the right to invade Iraq and search for WMDs that aren’t there. Justin Timberlake believes he can act. These beliefs share a commonality, and it’s that they are dangerous to society. All of the problems in the world stem from beliefs, that is why I believe in not believing in anything.

Let’s ignore the glaring contradiction I just made, because I don’t believe in caring about contradictions. In fact, if we want to get into semantics, if you dissect the statement, believing in not believing is the same as not believing in believing, so I’m covered either way. Don’t believe me? Good…

I am a somewhat pessimistic person, but there is one aspect in my life where I have ALWAYS been optimistic. I am always optimistic when it comes to the Cubs. I grew up on the north side of Chicago, and started watching the Cubs when I was 4. To say I bleed Cubby blue is an understatement. What is our motto…? “Believe.” Where has that gotten us? No where. In fact, every single year since I can remember, I have gotten up in the morning thinking this is our year, I can feel it. This is the year where the Cubs finally end the drought and win the World Series. I believed for the longest time that the Cubs would win it all, and every year I am left all the more disappointed. I am at the point where I have suffered so much disappointment that I am void of any human emotion. After the 2003 Bartman ball incident, I am left a cold heart-broken shell of a man. All of this pain and suffering could have easily been avoided, had I not believed in them the first place. Had I woken up every morning thinking I don’t believe in the Cubs, I would have never been let down.

I understand that many people think sports is a trivial topic, but let’s look at a broader more diverse topic, God. Some people believe in God, others don’t. Some believe that there is one God and he is the greatest, others believe in a wide array of Gods. Now let’s say that God doesn’t exist, and no one believes in him. Assuming the average lifespan is 67 years, by not believing in him you just saved yourself 3484 trips to the church/synagogue/mosque. Surely the free time and money saved will enrich your life. Now let’s say God does exist and no one believes in him. Do you really think he can punish us all? It’s like senior ditch day, they can’t give us all detention. I’ve never been to hell, but I’m sure it can’t support 6 billion people. Plus God seems like an outgoing social person, he wouldn’t want to be all alone up in heaven. It’s the mob mentality, if everyone jumps off a bridge, do you? Of course you do, always give into peer pressure. If you can’t beat them, join them.

You may think this is a sad way of life, and think the world would be depressing without any beliefs or convictions, but I disagree. There would be no arguments. Let’s analyze a confrontation one might have for having a strong belief on a touchy topic:

Person A: “Abortion is wrong, you’re killing babies!”

Person B: “It’s the women’s body, not the government’s!”

Person A: “Blah blah blah, I hate you and hope you die!”

Now let’s analyze the confrontation without any beliefs:

Person A: “What’s your stance on abortion?”

Person B: “Don’t really care.”

Person A: “Me either! Let’s go buy a cake.”

Person B: “Hooray!”

Notice how much more pleasant the latter conversation was. If no one believes in anything, no one is wrong, and everybody wins.

I realize that not believing in anything is a lot to ask from people, and I honestly don’t believe anyone could do it, except me. I don’t believe college is worth the money I’m paying. I don’t believe the Colts will win the Super Bowl. I don’t believe in doing things the conventional way. I don’t believe people when they say “money can’t buy happiness.” The only people who tell me that, are people who don’t have money. I don’t believe Barry Bonds. I don’t believe in astrology. I don’t believe in buying bottled water. I don’t believe in global warming. I don’t believe that I am not the greatest person in the world. I don’t believe in editing double negatives. It’s safe to say that I don’t believe anything. But most importantly, I don’t believe in writing conclusions…