This I Believe

Edna - Mesa, Arizona
Entered on September 17, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

The balance of world opinion is strung on a tight rope that teeter-totters precariously between what is said and not said. Five hundred feet below, lies, not a safety net, but mayhem and chaos that threaten to annihilate humanity as we know it. This grand tension, as is the nature of all fluid properties, trickle down to the macrocosm that is my life, seeps into every pore that is my consciousness. I am a nobody in the grand scheme of things, a nonety that cannot change the sway of things or the balance of opinions that will determine whether or not we will fall 500 feet below into the abyss of chaos. Yet, no man is an island and events have a ripple effect that will eventually end up a tidal wave as energy becomes impeded by the approach of land. I believe that each of us, as members of the human race, need to assume a responsibility, a state of mind that is constantly checked and balanced for ripple effects can have a powerful, positive impact. They can, however, also end up a disastrous calamity, claiming innocent casualties.

I have always held strong opinions about things. As a child, I grew up in a Taoist/Catholic environment and although my parents were never strictly religious, we had an alter in the house with my great-great grandmother’s picture on it to which we lit incense, bowed to, and gave offerings during each Festival of the Hungry Ghost and my sisters and I were sent to Catholic school where mass was held everyday. When I was nine, we were introduced to the Protestant faith. Somewhere along the journey between childhood and adulthood, through my many interactions with “christians”, I began to form the opinion that religion is a tool used by the strong to control the weak; to control those who have no strong opinions; those who willingly give up their rights to think for themselves and so be molded. And so, I gave up on religion, preferring to come up with my own conclusions to things based on what I have observed and read. I held religion responsible for many of the misunderstandings of the day that have led to many of the tragedies that we see.

I have never been so wrong. I have become my own worst enemy, for it was easier to assign blame to an organization, a conglomerate, a faceless mob, than to see that it is the choices that individuals make that lead us to problems we see today. Religion isn’t the problem. Intrinsically, it is good and it is principles people need to live an honest life, guidelines that reinforce intrinsic beliefs. I believe that it is a social responsibility for each individual to challenge this misconception, to relieve tension and bring balance back to this walk of life along the tight rope. This is our safety net as indeed, no man is an island, and what we do and think affects everyone else around us.