What do you believe in? The response to this question is usually a blank: what? In reference to what exactly? Which brings me to my next question… what is a belief and what does it mean to believe? Most people’s responses fit more in the: I think, I hope, or I trust categories. Dictionary.com defines believe as: to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so. While this is the accepted definition of what it means to believe I think that to believe in something is much more than that.
I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in Democracy, and I believe that all people are inherently good; these are all acceptable responses to this question. However so are: I believe we can end hunger, I believe Duke will beat UNC, I believe believing creates false hopes, I believe in Atlantis and things of that nature. But saying that we believe something, creates a bond, we must defend our beliefs, and show others that we mean what we say.
The word believe is similar to the word love, it is used carelessly all to frequently and is often hard to take back. However when used correctly it can define and inspire.
Take a moment to remember the number of people who have suffered persecution and discrimination for their beliefs. Declaring a belief is still controversial, not only in less tolerant countries but in our own class rooms, where many people still must endure mockery for being open about what they believe.
Sometimes beliefs can change a society. The courage of one person to stand up and say, I believe that the world can be better than this; has the ability to open eyes and minds. It can be as revolutionary as equality for all people, or as simple as, if people slow down and take more time for each other, everyone benefits.
Remember as a child when you were nervous or overwhelmed, the warmth and comfort that spreads through you when someone you cared about leaned over to whisper, it’ll be ok, I believe in you? Wouldn’t it be nice if more of us believed in each other?
So the next time someone asks you what you believe, think about it before you answer. Understand the importance of the word and use it wisely. So what do I believe? I haven’t decided, but when I do, I’ll let you know.
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