This I Believe

Tim - Palm Desert, California
Entered on July 5, 2007

I believe that if something desperately needs to be said and I don’t hear someone saying it, then I have got to say it. It may be a “stupid question” and people don’t want to appear foolish or it may be a provocative challenge and there’s fear of dire consequences. So far I haven’t suffered much for saying what had to be said and people have thanked me for articulating what they believe.

There’s a Gershwin song that says “Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly.” At the risk of reading more into it than the composer intended, let’s take those words out of context and ponder the implications.

“Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly:” Why? Because they can. Their physiology and their environment support it and, indeed, their life depends on it. You can say that they evolved that way or you can say that God made them that way: It doesn’t matter; they just “gotta” do it.

So what is it that makes us uniquely human and what have we “gotta” do about it?

We have a highly developed order of cerebral endowment in a social environment with a long and complex history: a history that gives ample evidence of what can happen when we abandon our own judgment and let someone else do our thinking.

So we’ve gotta learn and think; gotta read and listen; gotta argue and debate; gotta believe and doubt; gotta agree and disagree; gotta be right or wrong; gotta make mistakes and learn from them; gotta get in trouble and get over it; gotta think again and say something else.

You can say that we evolved that way or you can say God made us that way: It makes no difference; I believe we just gotta do it.