Missing solid ground
I believe that there is no absolute, that death is a lack of human ingenuity and taxes are annoying enough without a cliché.
I believe that everything anyone has ever said or done is in question. That you can never know how or why someone has or will do anything. I believe that compassion, companionship, lust, love, trust, monogamy will never be enough to ensure the person sleeping next to you today, will be there tomorrow. When I heard the words “till death do us part,” Everything inside me rejected the very idea. I didn’t know why I rejected the idea until recently – the reason being you will never know. You will never, in the whole of your life truly, deeply, completely understand someone else. You can never unlock another person’s fears, nightmares, beliefs, or even dreams – you can never live their life, you can only live your own.
I believe that the vast, endless, never forgotten Roman Empire may have been the factitious creation of a lonely little man hidden away in his drowsy cottage dreaming up a world that never existed anywhere but his mind. I believe that when people describe Pompeii they may never actually be talking about the city buried under a mountain of ash near Naples. More so, they may even be lying about the encounter entirely – their reasons forever unknown. I believe that the smallest of children can look you in the eye after their first word, and lie to you. I believe that the most common reason someone lies is “because I can.”
I believe that it is in fact mathematically possibly for all the air in the room you’re sitting in right now to randomly move to the other side of the room. I believe that people have lost arms because beakers exploded when they poured only water. That eating that last slice of pizza was the last thing someone ever did even though it tasted the same as all the others. That somewhere in the world someone is drowning because the dock was whole two minutes ago. I believe that death is a riddle that can be solved with computers and silicon.
Most of all, I believe that there is no absolute. That god may be toying with us and the world is truly three days old– and everything we find of our past is merely their creation. I believe that there could be no god beyond the natural laws that govern our everyday actions. I hope that my computer and reading light wont explode every day, because with all the variations each electronic component has the only reason they don’t is purely, simply, magic. I believe that at any point in our lives we can choose to not pay taxes, but compliance is less complicated.
More than anything else I know that absolutely everything – be it belief, fear, nightmare, or even hope itself– can never be proven.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.