Searching for My Beliefs

Brittany Lila - Salisbury, North Carolina
Entered on April 15, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe: I believe that I am incapable of writing a passionate essay demonstrating my belief in one thing. There are plenty of things I have opinions on. Finding one that I can pour my heart into through this essay is difficult, though. A belief, to me, is something that will stay with you for life. At eighteen, who is to say that my opinions won’t change? I suppose I could say that, but how should I know? The only other likely candidate might be God, but I don’t think God can say it. He can think it, but he can’t say it to me, if there even is a god.

Religion is a touchy subject for me. For most people it is what gives them purpose in life, so faith would be the subject of the plurality’s “This I Believe” essays. I don’t have a religion, though, at least not now. Having been religiously solicited beyond my tolerance, I am tempted to believe it hypocritical of followers of one faith to denounce another as false. When someone tells another person that their beliefs are wrong, it really irks me, especially because that person has no proof of the validity of their own religion. Yet they believe in it so much to defend it just as fast as they would defend the color of the grass. Not having such strong belief, I feel I am in no position to judge.

At first, I felt ashamed that I don’t have strong enough convictions to pick one to write a couple hundred words about. Pondering further, I realize the reason for my indecisiveness is because I am only eighteen years old and unwilling to let anything other than my own thoughts and experiences bias my beliefs. So I have opinions, I have convictions; they are just not well defined. Even when I was in kindergarten at a Christian school, I had trouble praying “the prayer” that would free me of all the transgressions I could have possibly committed in my first five years of life. I wanted God himself tell me that I would be forgiven, not my math teacher. As I didn’t think I had much to go off of at age five to dedicate myself to a religion, at eighteen I don’t think I’ve lived enough to truly believe in something still. Why should I practice or express something that I don’t wholeheartedly believe in? I think everyone should stop to consider why they believe whatever it is they believe in. The people who write these essays most certainly have, but just think if everyone in the world was given such an essay prompt. I know that I’m not the only one stumped by such a seemingly simple question as, “What do you believe in?” Even for someone who isn’t, write an essay, and in twenty, forty, even two years, reread it and see if you still think the same. Maybe the next person to read this might reconsider if what they believe in is truly their own.