I believe that in this day and age, young adults like me have so many influences affecting every aspect of their lives that they never have a chance to hammer out their own beliefs.
As I sat here, assigned to write this essay I sat thinking, “What do I believe?” To answer the question bluntly, I don’t know. Now of course I believe in love, and I think war is bad. The really tough questions though, I just can’t answer.
I don’t think that life is passing me by because of this though. I believe I am further ahead than most to be honest. How many teenagers have sat down and questioned their core beliefs? The majority of the things they do believe are things they have been told to believe. Teenagers don’t have all the answers.
I went to church nearly every Sunday and every holiday for the first 16 years of my life. But that isn’t enough for me. I still don’t know what I believe about religion. Who is right? Who is wrong? I learned in school that we came from apes. I learned in church that God created us from the earth. Again I ask, who is right?
The media tells us what to believe. The things they make appealing to you are generally bad in the long run. They would have you believe tobacco is cool, sex is a normal thing, and we should all get drunk and party all the time. That is the life I see on television programming everyday. That’s not for me. Sure I might enjoy these things, but I have made that decision on my own.
My parents also seem to have this idea that what they believe I should. They constantly are forcing their will on me. I am a young man of 18 years old, and I can make decisions for myself on my own. Now granted, some may be harder than others, and I may still need help along the way. That is the process of teenage life though, figuring out what you can and can’t do, knowing when to ask for help, and figuring out who you are. I believe that this is what is meant to happen in your teenage years. I’m still working on my beliefs but I’m sure in time I’ll be doing just fine.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.