This I Believe

Michael - Madison, Wisconsin
Entered on September 25, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: question

This I believe: that people should keep their beliefs to themselves, the better to believe them. After all, blurting out a belief only opens it up to disbelief. It’s a good way to lose or injure a belief. Besides, canst one not believeth too much—to paraphrase Shakespeare? Might the meat of his or her belief in fact be marbled with doubt and gristled with the bone of contention? What if your beliefs be mistaken? You might be convinced that cavemen rode dinosaurs (Flintstoneism) or that babies come from buttercups, a charming but largely discredited position. You might still believe in Big Boy, Robert Hall, or that Friendly Bob Adams really was, or that for every drop of rain that falls a flower grows. That your last colonoscopy was conducted by aliens, and thus not covered under Blue Cross Blue Shield. Personally, I have some things I feel very fervently about that I would sound like a complete lunatic to shout out in a public place—in fact, that’s what complete lunatics do. They are, after all, personal beliefs—they are to be contained within the person and don’t keep long outside the host. One speaks of deeply held not bandied about beliefs. The Bill of Rights protects our right to have beliefs without once asking what they are. We reserve the right to share beliefs with mutually consenting adults, but not in Mississippi after midnight. This is not to say that one should not feel free to broadcast one’s point of view, no matter how loathsome, intellectually lazy, or illogical; that’s why we have talk radio. This I Believe.