This I Believe

Aaron - Briarcliff Manor, New York
Entered on June 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: love, morality
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I believe in Solidarity, the unity of all mankind. I believe that all men contain the same spark, love, and freedom… nay burden, our duty to carry.

I have seen it in their eyes: my father after a day at the office; the Costa Rican man home from the fields, glazed in sweat, dirt and rain, like so many coats of paint; the homeless of New York, dark silhouettes approaching for a pair of socks or coat; the Armenian street vendor, caked with dust from Jerusalem’s streets; the violinist on a Dublin square; the Turkish woman kneeling in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, the call to prayer reverberating as if millions echoed back; the children of New Orleans, smiling just to see a toy, a book, a toothbrush, simple reminders of a life they once had; I have seen these things in their eyes and they in turn have seen them in mine. Pain in realizing the bareness of existence, love in abandoning selfishness for the abstract, fear of our freedom,

and hope for a better life.

We don’t confront these on a daily basis. They are an undertone of being, a golden thread run through all existence. We hide this pure emotion to hide ourselves, bury our existence under layers of identity, conflict, and drama. We play into the endless upward struggle, turn our gaze to the stars, so mystified at their beauty that we forget the earth around us. We turn our minds to struggles with our brothers, East against West, North against South, our God against Theirs.

We hide to avoid the truth of our existence, that we lead a selfish life, a bare and meaningless existence. Our struggles are futile, we roll a rock up a hill simply to watch it roll down; we build mounds in the sand so they may be scattered to the winds. Those who strip away identity and conflict stare the specter of their existence in the face, they see the implications of freedom, see that there is only one identity, one conflict. Our identity is mankind. Our conflict is to alleviate the suffering of our brothers, a struggle waged with abstracts, which no weapon can kill.

I believe in finding meaning in the abstract: music, art, literature, skill, victory, pride, and love. The intangible things through which we find true joy, more complete and fulfilling than materialism can ever bring.

I believe in ending suffering through ending our quest for the material:

for money, status, fame, comfort, ease and satisfaction above all else.

I believe in oneness through the abstract, manifestations of god eternal.

I believe that power is finding strength within yourself and in the unity which binds us all. To stand up as an equal, a member of the human race. To give up your existence, your pain, your desire, to treat all men as your brothers, to use your freedom for their good,

to join in the struggle for Solidarity, that we may all lead a better life.