This I Believe

Alina - Elmhurst, Illinois
Entered on November 1, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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The Ego’s Funeral

We are gathered here today in memory of Individuality; the essence of Spirit. It has departed our beings, sadly, due to neglect. The hole in our Spirits will serve as a constant reminder of our loss. Rest in Peace.

I believe that too many people build a cage around their souls. This cage could have been built by the fact that too many people fall too easily into a routine-a routine they do not question. There are expectations and assumptions in our lives which integrate into routine, yet-how often do we question why we do it? An example: Education. In most of our families, it is assumed we will go to school. So we go. We go because it is assumed. But what about for the desire to learn? Without that desire, school becomes a routine and we cease to ask why we attend—in this, we lose a passion.

This applies, of course, to many more things-trivialities, which make up a lot of our everyday lives. For instance: Why do some insist on following the fads and the fashions? So many do so almost unconsciously. Ask yourself, “Why do I need this $90 purse? Or more importantly, “why do I want it?” Or ask of the things that you don’t do: “Why am I not more involved in world issues? Why don’t I express my opinions more?”

It is asking ourselves these ‘whys’ that allows us to remain conscious to our own selves and not be victimized by apathy. Apathy destroys passion. I believe that without passion, it is easier to succumb to expectations. It is easier to take things for what they are, especially if you do not have the passion for or against those things. But when we succumb to apathy, the loss of passion, we limit our freedom. We basically give ourselves over to these expectations. Without freedom, we lose our creativity, burying it underneath the accepted–that doesn’t mean that the accepted contradicts creativity, but if we don’t ask ourselves why we do it, we cannot know if we are allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to expectations.

My belief is that without creativity, Individuality has no chance of surviving. It is the water for the body, the slumber for the dream. Imagine life without it. Or perhaps you can already witness that now.

Individuality is fragile-especially in this competitive world where we are expected to modify our talents and ideals in order for them to survive. But Individuality can be the strongest thing we have: it is our responsibility to ourselves to nurture it, despite expectations, to cherish it, and not to allow ourselves to lose it because of apathy-our unconsciousness of why we live the lives we live. I believe that we must be determined to be ourselves. We must awaken our passions from slumber, witness the expanse of freedom, unite with our creativity, and survive with the very essence of our beings-our Individuality. This I believe.