This I Believe

Curt - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Entered on May 30, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I believe in myself. I believe I can do anything. I believe I can be smarter, more compassionate, a better husband, friend and citizen than I was yesterday. Because of this belief I am often disappointed in myself. My wife tells me this is because I set so high a standard no one can reach it. I don’t think so. I set a high standard, one so high that I rarely meet it, precisely because I believe I can and should meet it. The higher the better. I believe, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that I can do it and that the journey is worth the effort.

Because I believe in myself, I can and must believe in you – all of you, all of us. This too leads to a great deal of disappointment. When I see every day how evil and stupid I and my fellow man can be, this becomes a very tough belief indeed. Still, I must believe in you if I am to believe in myself. I am you and you are me. We are one.

Because I believe in us, I also believe in politics and I believe in my country. My country has disappointed me a lot in the past few years but I keep believing not only because I must but because I want to. Because I believe in my country I speak out when I see my country going wrong and doing wrong. Politics and government are our most powerful tools to do good together. We cannot abandon them to bumper stickers and sound bites.

It seems to me that the greatest beliefs, beliefs that give us the power to change the world for the better are the hardest beliefs to hold. I don’t know if they are great because they are difficult or they are difficult because they are great. Believing in myself and believing in you is difficult almost all of the time. We all hold a nearly limitless power for good, yet this power is revealed only in brief, brilliant flashes.

But there is a god hidden in each of us even if we rarely see him. I believe he is there and I can and will find him in myself and in you. This I believe and this is why I get up each morning.