This I Believe

Shannon - Austin, Texas
Entered on January 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

No one really knows what will happen to them or others when their time comes to move on out of this life and into the next. There are many distinguished beliefs, backed up by a Bible written, translated and passed down from age to age by men who could be called the “Authors of our History.” Today, thoughts of the afterlife have mostly digressed from Egyptian traditions and more closely focuses on one of two places the living shall preside after death, a saving Heaven or a torturous Hell. Throughout the world religion gives a notion that the faithful, deserving, and kind followers of God shall be blessed with an eternity in Heaven once they have died, while the greedy, traitorous, and ill-thought consumed shall be shunned by God and sent to the depths of Hell.

I think otherwise. My God is a saving grace full of mercy and patience, loving all the people he hand-crafted and blessed upon this Earth. He sees our trials and tribulations as His own, and knows us inside and out more than anyone on Earth ever could, even for those who do not believe in Him or who have never learned of His saving ways. There is a child born to two non-believing parents. This child will never see the inside of a church or even know what a priest is during the most crucial child-rearing years of his life. Should the child be blamed for never knowing of or believing in a higher power who watches over him from the Heavens everyday? Some Bible Thumpers will argue one must live out their life as God would want and believe in Him in order to be admitted into Heaven, while those who do not believe in Him will go to Hell even if they have lived a life full of compassion for the less fortunate. It seems a bit hypocritical that these Bible Thumpers should ever condemn another being to death, one who has lived out a righteous and caring life, when the Christians are supposedly children of God, spreading his good word to all. Even as Christians, people are much too eager to judge others by their beliefs or lack thereof and cast them into the depths of a Hell, if said others do not have the same beliefs. Where is the devotion and care for others in these actions?

Perhaps I am alone on my stand in saying all people go to heaven. Perhaps this statement displays my youth, naïveté, or reveals a weakness in my characteristics of being too nice and forgiving of others misdemeanors. Perhaps I want to be reassured that I will go to Heaven and be forgiven even with my many faults and mistakes. Or maybe I just believe, however cliché it sounds, that goodness really does lie in the depths of every living thing on Earth, and therefore will be saved by God in the afterlife because everyone deserves to be happy, no matter their past life.