This I Believe

Daniel - Grantham, Pennsylvania
Entered on June 20, 2008

I Believe in Our Original Design…

In a world delusional of material limits, growth rate as the economic idol, and withering cultural traditions, I believe in the restoration of home economics. In a culture obsessed with long commute times and automobiles that carry our workforce back into the ghetto of suburbia–sacrificing true community for green lawns and climate controlled homes–I believe in the transition to unisolated, walkable, and organically cohesive towns. In shock at the state of our public schools that teach temporary knowledge instead of practical, sustained skills of self-reliance, I believe in future educators like my sister to reject banal and unnecessary testing and give attention to the real needs of her students. In protest to the war—not the soldiers—that has silenced the voices of Iraqis, made impotent our foreign policy, and created anger into a generation of Iraqis raised under occupancy, I believe in solders like my brother who ran an Invisible Children campaign in Morgantown, WV, listen to the warnings of global climate change, and adhere not to jingoism, but of belief in humanity’s will to love and survive in times of challenges. In frustration at FOX terror alerts, CNN breaking news, and countless stories portraying Hollywood as Heaven, I believe in shutting off the television and sharing genuine stories over lunch and dinner with family and friends. In a country that regards numbers and facts as the highest logic, while paradoxically ignoring the laws of limits (oil supplies) and rejecting science (global climate change), I believe in the prophets of our time, like Wendell Berry, who proffer aesthetics over efficient outcomes, frugality over affluence, family over manufactured fun, and the health of communities over commuter’s paradise. In protest to my parent’s generation—the generation of protestors—I am appalled at their compliance to the so-called “good life”, while selfishly ignoring the necessities for future generations. Instead, I believe in the fortitude of humans to adapt and forgive those that have come before us, even if our economy falters in depression. In a country steeped in religious fervor for a retributive rather than a restorative God, I believe in the goodness of the Gospels and the “peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” In a time of converging catastrophes–seen and heard, but not heeded by many—this I believe: that when challenged, the human spirit will miraculously display a penchant for our original design—to depend on each other.