This I Believe

Adria - Springboro, Ohio
Entered on March 20, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I wrote the following as part of a preface for a novel I am attempting to write which illustrates, in an embellished fictional light, my experience of being a typical white girl raised Hindu in a small southern town. After having written this paragraph I realized that these are the beliefs that exist inside of my mind underneath my religious or contrived belief systems. The experience of being raised Hindu in a small town in the middle of nowhere/anywhere U.S.A. combined with my father’s insatiable appetite for searching for the truth has caused me to see religion in a homogenized light. The base of Hindu and Buddhist religions is the belief that all true faiths lead to God and tolerance of others; there by leaving little room to judge others and their path. This has set me free to worship with whom ever I choose. While my experiences of being overly judged and scrutinized has shown me how important it is to respect others even when they are different from me; it has also caused me to hold strong to my beliefs in a strong unwavering revolt to fitting in merely to be accepted. I believe if we all look inward and search for truth and/or God through tolerance and inner discipline conflict, war, and hatred can be quelled from the source.

This I believe…

The moments of our darkness embrace the uncertainties of the human mind. To find the path in the dimmest of light comes from the strength of our endurance of faith; an inner sanctity that fills the void. For we are all treading lightly on the road of life; between faith and fear. For whatever faith we have been chosen to follow the challenge remains the same. Our love for God and the world must outweigh our fragile human fears. For once fear takes hold of our gentle souls we become infected with the virus of hatred. This disease is of our own devices and leads to a life of eternal suffering. Let us rise up against this fear and let go of our uncertainties to allow God to take hold of our true desires, leading us on the true path of righteousness. On this journey let us also be aware of the burden entangled in self-righteousness, which leads us to uncompromising rigidness, giving us the illusion that we are saintly enough to make the judgments of others without the power to know their true heart or the complete account of their lives; for it is only the almighty who can account for another. It is our struggle, our burden to find the strength to survive and still be able to forgive in this world of great difficulty. For no matter how righteous the faith you follow you will not benefit unless you are able to love others with more vigor than you love yourself. While it may seem romantic, truly righteous living is filled with the heaviness of the mundane. Such a life is easily cast off in the flash of the blink of an eye. For one momentary act of great calamity or many small acts of seemingly unnoticed measure can lead our lives down an unexpected path of despair. While we all struggle with the difficulties of this world, those whose lives are ruled by their own selfishness do not have the inner sanctity to guide their own hearts out of the realm of desolation.

I believe in tolerance. I believe in inner discipline. This I believe.