I believe in a world of colors. A Crayola box full. A life of hues that exists between the continents of Black and White. I believe in nuanced theories rather than dogmatic statements, in thoughtful queries over simplistic answers. I believe in confusion and wonder as a path to clarity.
I believe in questions. And the presence of God in mystery.
I believe in conversations. Lots of them. In different languages. Between contrasting cultures. Among incompatible people. I believe in difficult and awkward dialog between mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, siblings, neighbors, and friends. I believe in challenging negotiations between countries, families, and people.
I believe in uncertainty and fuzzy lines, and in forgiveness.
I believe in optimism. In believing the best about a person even when his behavior says otherwise. I believe that in all evil there exists a chance for goodness, and that in all darkness is found a speck of light. And I believe that pure virtue isn’t immune to corruption, that truth and light can emerge from darkness.
I believe in stripes. Not solids.
I believe that a person can change her opinions as many times as she wishes throughout her life. That the woman who lived by every rule in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in college is allowed to recognize the wisdom in the four noble truths of Buddhism after her graduation, that one philosophy need not define her forever.
I believe in the beauty of evolution. Of the mind and spirit and body. And in different seasons.
I believe that a diagnosis doesn’t have to predict someone’s future. That in every recovery there exists the possibility of a miracle. I believe less in symptoms than I do in strategies for healthy living that treat every functioning organ within the human body and the soul that encapsulates all of them. I believe in all kinds of medicine and every type of treatment that better connect a person’s mind, body, and soul to each other.
I believe in healing and wholeness.
I believe in a world of communities, not individuals, and that a person cannot thrive independently, outside of his relationships. I believe the actions of one human being always affects his brother, sister, neighbor, and friend, which makes him accountable to all those persons. I believe no one gets sick by himself, and seldom can a person recover all alone.
I believe in the sacredness of relationships. And in world in which we are responsible for one another.
I believe in a God who likes to paint in colors, who created a world of vibrant hues. I believe that life is about a journey, not just a destination, and that our existence is more about becoming comfortable with our questions than at arriving at the answers.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.