This I Believe

Joseph - Dallas, Texas
Entered on January 30, 2007

What I believe

I believe in many things, and know little.

I believe that knowledge is different from belief, and that a great deal of trouble comes from confusing the two.

I believe in a benevolent God, but know nothing of His nature. I believe the Morality He has lit within our hearts to be something other than self-interest, and that what He holds as Good and Evil may not be what we think it is.

I believe in Life, in the day I have before me, the day to come, and what may follow after death. What the day has to give us is precious, but there is more, hidden by the veil that lies at the end of our lives. “Live boldly, fear naught. All will be well.” Embrace what life gives you, then release it with joy when it’s time.

I believe in people, and that the good far outnumber the bad. I believe in the quiet dignity of the life well-lived, and this is one informed by generosity, courage, grace, and integrity, and I believe these qualities reside in the overwhelming majority of mankind, to an overwhelming degree.

I believe in the resonance of our actions. The helping hand we give a friend or stranger, the shoulder to cry on, the random smile offered to no-one in particular reaches farther than we know.

I believe in progress, both material and spiritual. I believe in the continuing climb from the cave, up the mountain, to the stars and beyond, and that what we will find there is impossible to foretell. I believe in the improvement of our souls, that the savage from the cave is still within us (and will stay), but the temperance of civilization lends a gentling, guiding hand to the animal, and that clothed in all the varied aspects of civilization our goodness will exercise itself with ever more potency.

I believe in Freedom, my own and other’s. The freedom to act and believe as I wish, so long as my actions and thoughts don’t intrude on those of others. We are different, each of us, and these differences are a source of strength. By sharing our separate thoughts and actions we achieve a power impossible for any individual. Only Freedom allows this. Freedom to be who we are, to associate with whomever we wish, however we wish.

We are bound together, one and all, and the mystery of Life surrounds us. We will never grasp it totally, I believe, but together, as individuals cooperating in a free society, we can help illuminate the great dark, and, like the dawning sun, push away some of the darkness to the far horizon. With each day that passes, with every individual expressing his own precious vision, we can take what our days hand us and create things new and wonderful, beneficial and beautiful.

This I believe.