If I had to pin down what I believe, I think it would go something like this: I believe in personal experiences. More then anything personal experiences shape who we are, and how we perceive ourselves. Without them we are nothing.
Nothing is truly real until you can connect it with yourself and what you’ve been through, If you’ve been through nothing, then you have no reference point. Therefore you are lost, and unable to relate. As fundamental as this sounds, many people, I find, do not do this. They make up what they have experienced, what they have learned, fronting a facade of the person they want to be not who they are.
This might be a little hypocritical of me but one way I used to test if people were this way was to ask them a rigged question. For example, I asked a friend of mine if he had heard of the Houses of the Holy (an album by Led Zeppelin). He replied “yeah I really like that band.” I checked to just make sure and there is no band named Houses of the Holy out there, meaning he only said that to seem cooler then he was in my eyes. People do this to seem like minded in hopes of approval, conforming to the opinionated is the easiest path of least resistance to gain someone’s approval.
Now I don’t mean you have to burn yourself to know what it feels like, or get shot to know it hurts. I am simply saying stay true to who you are, and don’t change yourself for others. Be who you are, without compromise.