This I Believe

Eric - Redondo Beach, California
Entered on April 30, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I Don’t Believe?

When first I heard about this assignment, I had many beliefs, however nebulous, to expound upon. When I actually sat down to write, however, all of those beliefs vanished. After an hour of futile writing attempts, I accepted defeat at the merciless hands of writers block and waited to resume until the next day. When I sat down the next day, however, I realized that I had the same problem again. This wasn’t merely writer’s block: this was something deeper.

I realized, in a rather ridiculous way, that I have no beliefs. The fact that I didn’t know this until it came time to produce said beliefs is pathetically comical to me. Now I can’t even utter those famous words “This I believe,” without an extreme feeling of incredulity and the strange urge write an inane MySpace post on a friend’s page. I don’t have a MySpace account.

I don’t believe in God, and unless I’m trying to piss off my parents, I’m not really passionate about not believing, so I can’t even use that as my stated “belief.” After all, atheism can only be a belief in its own right if one finds greater meaning in the lack of a God. I don’t. The fact that God doesn’t exist seems perfectly natural to me, like the sky or gravity, but I draw no belief system from this knowledge.

I am awed by the great expanse that is the universe, but I cannot explore it myself, and I am uninterested in merely studying it. Furthermore, I have no interest (or skill, for that matter) in developing technology that might enable space travel for future generations. Therefore, I am in no position to craft my deeper meaning in life from my grandiose notions of futuristic space travel.

I love music, and maybe I even believe in it, but people who believe in non-metaphysical things, such as music, tend to anchor them to some greater spiritual belief or moral code. I can’t really do that. I love music, but, for me, love of music isn’t something to found my life on. I can’t really call it a deep belief because I can’t tie it into a firm belief or ethical code.

Furthermore, perhaps as part of the human condition, or perhaps as part of my Christian upbringing, I have great trouble forming any beliefs based upon something that is tangible or real. I constantly form lofty goals and ambitions, such as world peace, subconsciously picking ones that will never be realized, only so that I may continue believing in them until I die. Sadly, even this fails, as I unwillingly see through the trickery of my own subconscious and reluctantly dismiss these grandiose notions as improper things to place my full trust in. Even though I might choose to pursue such things and even attain modest successes in them, I will still lack a firm belief to balance my life on. I don’t believe.