This I Believe

Jay - Greenville, Rhode Island
Entered on July 11, 2007

I believe that on the day I was born I was given a blank canvas and that it is my purpose in life to create my masterpiece; my masterpiece is my life. It is entirely my responsibility to create a life of purpose, a work of art, my story. It is my responsibility to live large and to live grand; my life is up to me. I invent it. I own it. I create it. I am its artist.

I believe that our masterpiece is ultimately challenging us to be authentic – to be real. We are to live the life that we are inspired to live, not the one that a parent or teacher wants for us. Each of us is unique; each of us has talents and interests that frame who we are – a natural energy that inspires what we think and where we find value. Being authentic is the process of determining what is right for each of us and living that life. Our masterpiece reflects our search for our authenticity and our struggle to live it.

We spend much of our life learning about and how to use the tools that are given to us to complete this masterpiece. These tools are the people, experiences, places and ideas of our lives. As youngsters we learn the fundamentals of math, science, language, history and art. We learn the process of thinking so that we can discuss ideas with others and use them to expand our sense of reality. We see the hurt and trauma in our world and learn from its context. We watch, listen, taste, smell and touch our way to understanding. Each of the senses provides us with more information, wisdom and more supplies to create our masterpiece…just ours…exactly in our way.

I do believe that I cannot look to anyone else to help me make my masterpiece; my life is entirely up to me. I can, however, get help in my life. I can learn from others. I can talk things over with others. I can invent with others. But the living of my life, the creation of my story, the work on my masterpiece is and must be entirely up to me.

I believe that we must live in a significant way. That we be animated with emotions, say what we feel, love who we love and be who we are supposed to be. Life is not subtle or always correct. It is meant to be lived and fully experienced. At times it is brash and loud and at times simple and tender. And our masterpiece exhibits this combination of events and emotions.

When we look back over our lives, I believe we should think of it as attending an art museum, standing in front of a significant work – the Mona Lisa, scenes by the impressionists or sculptures by the Greeks…we should look back at our lives as true masterpieces, priceless works that reflect our extraordinary lives. They are works that show the world how much of life we lived – masterpieces that are large and loaded with color, texture and energy. Our works show the rest of the world that we had a bold and audacious approach to a big life that was exciting and limitless. And that each day we held on with two hands and went for the ride of life with sheer exhilaration and love, yelling and shrieking with excitement, laughing, crying, running, resting and living life raised to a power.