This I Believe

Angelina - Louisville, Kentucky
Entered on January 2, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I believe in “We”. There is too much “I” in the world. And yes, I am just as guilty as the next person of perpetuating this phenomenon. I don’t know if mankind is reaching a pinnacle of “I” or if the solidity of “I” has existed throughout time. To be sure, there are people that dedicate their lives to “they” or “them.” But I am not speaking so much to lack of charity, as I am to a lack of community. We are divided into millions of little categories. These categories keep growing rather than dissipating. Let me expound upon that. I am an American. I am a socialistic democrat. I am a woman. I am a folklorist. I am white. I am an only child. I am a wife. I am a working mother. I am college educated. I am thirty-something. I am a non-smoker. I am opinionated. The list goes on but I think this is a good start. These are some of the things that are or become obvious about me from casual observation. These few traits create chasms between me and my fellow humans. I know that sounds drastic but it is true. Some people feel so strongly about singular aspects of themselves that to connect with someone who is different is anathema to them.

Logically I can understand why some of these differences separate us, but the hurt is not dissipated by logic. I tend to look people full in the face as I pass on the sidewalk. More often than not, I smile or greet them in some way. Some people respond openly, which is beautiful and brings me a simple sort of joy. Many, however, never look up; or, if they do it is with apprehension, fear, mistrust or apathy. Let me reiterate that I understand the logical barriers of race, class, religion and such. It still hurts. The part of me that is made up of my emotions does not understand. There are small communities of “we” but they center around race, religion, and lifestyle. The emotional spiritual part of me longs for the “we” that includes all members of the human race.

Every human being is unique. We are like the oceans. Characteristics and substance can be observed on the surface and just below the surface. But then the waters deepen and it is harder to know what lies below. One must delve into the waters to discover what else lies within the ocean. So it is with every human being. Still, there is a sameness to every ocean. The oceans hold many things; but, they are all bodies of water. People, as entities, also hold many things; but, we are all human.

I believe in “We.”