I believe that as a 19-year-old college student, I should not be writing this paper. I have reached the fork in the road where I am beginning to grasp my extreme deficiency in worldly understanding, which three years ago, I knew was utterly flawless. I recognize that any belief at a point in one’s life has significance, yet, I am afraid that many of mine will simply fall into a vast group of clichés and lack real value to you…There is a gap, which separates an old man from myself. Whether he has lived for 90 years on a farm, secluded from education, unable to experience a barrage of mixed opinions on religion and life, in a state of absolute blissful ignorance, or if he has lived the opposite, seeking answers and striving to gain erudition constantly—there is a connective current flowing beneath both minds–Beliefs change.
Wrapping one’s reality around this concept is not a satisfying task, nor does it result in anything someone at my age desires. In fact, understanding the fickleness of my ideals only intensifies the feeling of being trapped in this teenage purgatory of thoughts. What job will fulfill my goals? What are my goals? Will the things that make me happy make me happy for the rest of my life? Whenever I talk with friends about religion, faith, politics, or other hot topics, I struggle to hold my tongue at the confidence they exude. It scares me that few at my age realize how little we know, and how very very dangerous this is. As I sat with my two closest friends in the deli, we went over amendments, referendums, judicial candidates for small districts, and began to fathom how ridiculous it was that we were voting on anything besides the presidency. How distorted is our political system when three semi-active college students get the same voice as my roommate who doesn’t know Sarah Palin?
Tangent aside, there is one belief that I carry which, whether or not it will last, has helped to catalyze the diffusion of confusion in my world. It is the subtle presence of a place beyond this one. At 19, it is my cliché point of view that organized religion degrades and hinders our world, but this place I speak of is my own interpretation. It is my guardian, my reasoning, my meditation, my mediation. It is the cross on my chest and it is why I will never be angry, or judge. It is why my neighbors survived a drunk driver. It is why my cousin will ski again. It is why my grandfather passed in the sun on a rainy day, and it is why we missed the semi by inches when everyone was asleep. It is why I never hate. It is why I tell my friends I love them. It is why I never cry, and it is why I will never die. Find a faith, a hope, something to internalize and believe without falter—you only need one; it will give you reason, it will give you understanding.
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