This I Believe

Christine - Longmont, Colorado
Entered on May 4, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in evolution. Not just for the world, but for myself as well. I believe that constantly changing, constantly evolving is the only way to survive.

I believe in personal Darwinism, an internal survival of the fittest. It is because of this that I don’t too often find myself believing in one ideology or religion for too long. What beliefs work for me one week may not work for me the next week.

Recently, I was told by someone who changes every time I turn around that I should never change, and especially not for someone else. That was my first revelation in figuring out that change is good. Yes even change caused by other people is good. I trust the loved ones in my life to tell me what’s good and bad for me. But I also trust myself to know what’s working in my life and what isn’t. And I definitely don’t trust people like her to inform me of whether or not I should change.

My life is scattered with moments that should have been life changing. But to me, they seem insignificant. Triple bypass surgery wouldn’t make me stop to think “I should live a healthier lifestyle”- not that I’ve ever had one. Rather it’s the moment in which I sit down in my class on the upper level, breathing heavily when I realize that perhaps I should look into being more healthy. Getting into a car accident and narrowly escaping several hasn’t convinced me to change my sometimes reckless driving, and hopefully for your sake one day something small will change the way I drive. Those are the kind of moments in which I can feel the ideas breaking like appliances.

Old ideas become like old appliances. Just as it makes no sense to keep a broken toaster, it makes no sense to keep an idea that no longer works for me. But I don’t always throw away the whole idea. Sometimes there are still small parts that work well. These parts then link together to become another piece of a well oiled machine known as my overall belief system. That constant need for an upgrade is what creates the variation between change and evolution.

Though I would like to try to convince you that I’ve always been the way I am right now, I haven’t. When I was five I thought Raffi was God, and that by this age I would surely have been the new Madonna. And when I’m sixty five, I’m sure my current career goals and god-like figures will be just as amusing.

I believe that as long as there are those small moments in life, I will never stop using them to my advantage to evolve and grow upon what I have already built. Even if I could live forever, this well oiled machine would never be considered a completed project.

I believe in personal Darwinism, and that may very well be the only thing that will never change.