This I Believe

Jim - Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Entered on April 22, 2005
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem, love

I believe in integrals. I believe that big things come from small steps, that a whole is nothing without parts, and that the habits of our daily routines are every bit as defining as the cathartic moments in which we perceive ourselves to be revealed. Each small step may be imperceptible, unsorted, perhaps in reverse, yet the final result is unique and inherent to those steps: athletes grow strong by training, musicians become adept with practice, and students learn through study. The steps become the result. I believe understanding and tolerance evolve from simple conversations between neighbors who listen as much as they talk. I believe health of body and of spirit come from daily attention and awareness. And I believe that life-long love exists and grows in the nightly “I love you’s” and in the extra minutes lingered over at breakfast. Moments are ephemeral, yet they add up to become our lives.

I do not mean to burden each singular action with the heft of importance nor to imply guaranteed outcomes from all steps. There are unexpected and abrupt events, as I learned in my wife’s recent diagnosis with a long-term autoimmune disease. But with no instant cure in sight, I put my faith in the integral sum of daily care, lifestyle, and optimism. I hope for big things indeed from these small steps, and I find new depths of appreciation for actions as simple as our evening walks.

I like to ask myself: “what happens if I do something

every day for a year, for ten… or for the rest of my life?”

I believe we are creatures of habit, and I include intent as a habit.