This I Believe

Souheil - Bloomington, Indiana
Entered on February 19, 2007

I believe

To listen to NPR’s “I Believe” series one wonders if there are any open quote bad people close quotes.

All the expounded beliefs are lofty, ethical, and altruistic. No racist beliefs, no antihomosexual beliefs, no antipoor antilazy beliefs, no antirich antiselfserving antiopportunistic beliefs. Nowhere to be found also were the anti-Semitic and antipalestinian beliefs. No antimuslim anticrusade beliefs.

The clear blue skies are not stained with antiglobalization beliefs, or antiprovincialism beliefs.

So who are we to believe, all these saints on the radio, reading their cheesy essays or the crusaders making more enemies than they can kill, and kill they are trying? Or should we believe our politicians empty beliefs and promises?

We, unfortunately, live in a world and at a time where everybody has a belief and most everybody tries to shove it down just about anybody’s throat any opportunity they have.

Nothing wrong with beliefs, as long as they are kept to oneself and not acted on. Too many people have been maimed, killed, hurt, in the name of the meanest and loftiest of beliefs.

All revolutions started under the auspices of good beliefs, draped in the flags of even better beliefs, ending up unfortunately shrouding hundreds if not thousands with biers of even greater beliefs.

People tend to live longer and happier without any beliefs lobbed at them. They feel safer without the worry of falling into somebody else’s belief trap. And seem to breathe easier without belief nooses tied around their necks.

The race to believing and the dearth of worthwhile beliefs have led to the mass marketing of beliefs. The belief du jour if you will. Today it is fancy to believe that we are ruining the environment and that we are causing global warming, just as it was fancy in the seventies to believe that we were at the edge of the precipice of a looming ice age.

It is obvious that ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ beliefs are gaining ground and shelf space in our grocery stores. At our most organic and natural however our life expectancy was around 30 years and women died during childbirth at a rate that would have made the 9-11 terrorists blush with envy and shame. Talking about 9-11, amazing what beliefs can get you to do!

We always find reasons to believe and even more reasons not to believe the belief of the door to door peddler of beliefs. Our beliefs against theirs. Throw in the mix some geographic borders, hoist a flag and voila, you have a country! Now you are ready to export your beliefs in the belief that your barbaric neighbor, and they always are, can only benefit from dumping their beliefs and wholeheartedly, even with the help of guns, embracing yours.

Believers come hand in hand with non believers….and the race to conversion begins and never ends.

Next time you feel a belief creeping up in your mind, no matter how innocuous or earth shattering, quarantine it, destroy it, forget it, erase it and the world will be thankful to you.