This I Believe

Ian - Bloomington, Illinois
Entered on March 18, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

What Do You Think?

I believe in the mind. I respect to the fullest the ability of the mind to dictate reality. That one simple object can mean to millions of people a myriad of different meanings is a testament to the very limitless expanse of the mind’s possibilities. Our Bill of Rights’ freedoms, which can be taken away, bent, or broken, as is now well known, cannot dare challenge the mind that ultimately frees the person.

High school and college, though ideally two of the most influential periods in all of life, can be a trying affair for many students. Amongst all the filtered sensations and information intake, we may grow ever less conscious of how potentially boundless our lives could be. Answering to bells and alarm clocks, cell phones and email notifications, is tiring and trying at the most lax of times. There are too many days spent at the beckon call of others. Every single night, in those beautiful but precious few moments before sleep fully embraces me, I stare into the vast collecting bin of thoughts accumulated throughout the day, and bit by bit start to make sense of it all. People would do well to reflect peacefully on occasion.

Habitually, I watch the various news reports that come on at night before I go to bed. Much to my dismay, watching the news has become one of the most depressing things you could do with your evening; war in Iraq (and perhaps soon Iran), the Darfur genocide, suicide bombings, teen STD and pregnancy statistics, murder, child abuse, and all other manners of criminality. None of this anybody ideally wants to go to bed with fresh in mind, but it is the news and it is happening, even more to my displeasure. This time set aside for contemplation is the best karma-cleansing ritual I have. Because let us face it, after seeing all that humanity is capable of, I’m not all that thrilled about being human.

I believe in the mind. I believe in the raw masochism of thought, the grandest possibilities of contemplation, and the heartfelt truth of reflection. Out of all that lay before me, in my mind’s eye, I have a life so simple and submerged in spiritual truth. It is the mind that spawns love and fear alike, grand empathy and dire animosity. And the gift of consideration and reflection is perhaps the greatest gift that we give to ourselves. It is what no one can directly give you, and it is one of the hardest of blessings to take back. Now, I don’t say that I am right, of course. But what do you think?