Believing in Believing

Jacob - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on October 14, 2008

I believe in believing itself—but more than mere belief, a feeling of almost knowing. A burning confidence and assurance that spreads itself through out my entire being. It’s the belief—the confidence—that the sun will rise the next day, that things will eventually get better. It is the belief of success that drives us to try. And then try again. It is a belief that is easily transferable and infusible from parent to child, brother to sister, friend to friend—even stranger to stranger. And it is transferred through encouragement, compliment, a listening ear or physical support, or even just a simple greeting of “hello”.

One area of my life where I have learned and applied this belief is in my love to run. I have always been a runner, and, following in the footsteps of older siblings, I joined the school cross-country teams. Though on a team, cross-country is more of an individual sport; one where, for three miles, you compete the most against yourself. But, all throughout the race, there are people that stand by and shout out encouragement, “don’t stop!” “keep going!”, “you can make it!” My parents, siblings, coaches, and strangers alike, would all infuse me with this power, this belief in myself. “I can do this. I am going to do better than I’ve ever done before. Only a little bit farther.” It was this belief and confidence in me that drove me to be better. Over the six years that I ran competitively, I improved my personal record by about six minutes. And in turn, I cheered on my teammates and even others who I didn’t know—believing that they can achieve something more than they had before.

It is a belief in yourself and in other people that you and they can do better, be more, climb higher than you ever before thought possible. For me, it is this belief, this confidence, that I can be better than who I am that makes me strive to put myself, and those around me, on a higher level. It is this belief that is the true definition of hope. And when I say that I hope for a better world, it is because I have the confidence and the assurance and the belief that what I do, or what I say, or what I am and will become, will make it better.