What would the world be like if no one believed? Many things we love and take for granted may not exist. What if man hadn’t believed that settling the west was possible? And if scientists hadn’t believed that space travel could be achieved? That’s why I believe in believing.
Believing comes in many different shapes and forms. It can be anything from playing make-believe to coming up with plans for a new submarine. And each different way is important.
When I was about five, there was a time that I believed a horse lived in my cubby at kindergarten. I would always wake up at six o’clock AM and tell myself that my horse was waiting. Of course, I didn’t actually go to school until eight, but that didn’t stop me. And when I got to school, I’d have to explain to my teacher why I kept leaving a PB&J sandwich in my cubby even though I didn’t eat lunch there. I found that, no matter how many times you explain such things to an adult, they will never believe you.
But because I believed that a horse lived in my cubby, I actually enjoyed going to school, a thought that seems foreign now. Believing the unbelievable makes boring and frustrating times fun.
I also remember a time when I was ten and was babysitting my four-year-old cousin with the “help” of her seven-year-old neighbor. My cousin, Sophia, was ordering me to fulfill her every want and need because she was the queen of the world. Her neighbor stood to the side, watching with an incredulous look on his face.
“You’re no queen!” he shouted when she commanded him to pull her “carriage”. “You’re just playing make-believe.”
Sophia fixed him with as stern a glare as her four-year-old self could muster. “No. You just don’t see it right. Believing is as good as anything.” She turned away. “Besides, you’re a toad, an’ toads don’t talk.”
Though I did not see the truth in that statement at the time, I came to realize its importance as time went on. In fact, when I was younger, my parents always told me to get my nose out of my book and go play with my stuffed animals or go play with the neighbors. But I always thought that there was no point. Make-believe was unimportant to living life.
But I was wrong. Sure, you can live life without believing, however, your existence would be rather boring. Believe the impossible. Believe the possible but unlikely. Believe that world peace can be achieved. Believe in things that others don’t. You’ll find yourself to be much happier. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.