I Believe in Believing

Carol - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on September 14, 2008

I believe in believing. Webster’s Dictionary says that believing is having a strong conviction or to accept as true. I agree with Webster, but I feel I must to his definition. Belief is more than an acknowledgement of facts; it goes deeper than an intellectual register of an idea or opinion. A belief is a deep resonation of thoughts, values, opinions, and conclusions made by one individual. To function as a human being, to have a real purpose that goes beyond the superficial goal of survival, belief is necessary, the epicenter of any purpose. The ability to think and reason to draw educated conclusions that guide our thinking and actions is part of what makes us human, and when we choose apathy we choose to give up a piece of our humanity. I believe in believing in something, anything, as long as that belief is true, real and fueled by a passion.

Free will is one of the greatest gifts life has bestowed on mankind, and it is our duty rather than our privilege to take full advantage of it. Not everyone believes in the same things I do, nor do they have the same opinions about similar beliefs. However despite these differences, I have the utmost respect for anyone who has the courage to recognize their own mind’s preferences. Without belief, fewer battles would have been won, fewer lives saved, fewer discoveries and advancements achieved, fewer revolutions taken place. I am passionate about a purpose and it therefore saddens and angers me when I witness the total apathy of others, especially that of my peers. I live amongst the most notoriously apathetic generation; one that is content with the status quo, is “too cool” to have opinions, too lazy to care or find out the answers to their own questions, too caught up in their IM conversations about nothing, too fixated on the here and now and the instant gratification they’ve grown up with to be unconvinced with using their own minds. I realize I’ve unfairly stereotyped the American teenager, but I believe that stereotypes exist for a reason: they’re often applicable, as in this case. I’m not an anarchist, and I don’t plan on organizing a month long sit-in at a local business of my choice. I’m just one person with certain unshakable beliefs who wishes that the world would wake up just long enough to realize that they think, but don’t believe.

I’m not the next Albert Einstein or Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Plato, or Socrates. I’m not brilliant, I don’t have all the answers, and my beliefs aren’t the only ones. But I do believe, and I do attempt to fight back against the desensitization sweeping our powerful and richly blessed nation. Americans, despite their unique freedom to hold and express their opinions are so depleted in this area it makes me cringe. So as a woman with a free will and an active mind I have, and will always believe in believing.