This I believe:
I believe that our time on earth is very brief and that it is vain to suppose that we were meant to exist an eternity after our death. I believe that love is all around us and is a sort of emotional gravity force we can’t quite explain, but that keeps us all alive together. I believe that, whatever else is happening, love is ripping and we humans have become more fragmented and hostile towards one another than we have since, well, since the last Great War. I believe it is a cruel trick of fate or evolution that we can contemplate our existence and our own death. I believe that the beauty of practically everything my eyes behold is a priceless gift. I believe we can learn to love, or hate, just about anything or anyone. I believe laughter is the most important ingredient in my life, but it becomes too scarce in times of sorrow. I believe that God is man’s expression of a need which I can not find in countless searches of my own soul. I believe that if there is a God, he either chooses not to help us or he is impotent to stop evils already in motion; either way he is of no use to me. I believe that you ought to retain enough of your own childlike qualities to make friends with any child. I believe that the protection of children is a higher calling. I believe that the people who say the most about morality are often the people living far below their own standards. I believe that politeness to strangers and humility are among the most important signs of character. I believe that you can judge a society by the way it treats its prisoners and its elderly. I believe that you can judge a person by the way she treats the help. I believe being an honorable and good sportsman is more important than winning. I believe fervently in the ideal of America and I am sickened that we have become the aggressors in war, that we have condoned the use of torture of our enemies, that we have suspended the right to be brought in front of a judge, that people can be held without charges forever. I believe people who say that the Constitution is not a suicide pact don’t really believe in the Constitution. I believe that what made America great is not democracy, after all majorities can be wrong. I believe what made America great is the protection of the minority, the bill of rights. I believe that these guarantees have been damaged, possibly grievously. I believe that it is no longer morning in America. I believe that one day I will fall deeply and madly in love again and that it will work out this time. I guess there are some things I just have to believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.