This I Believe

josh - Santa Monica, California
Entered on June 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in introspection. Introspection does not solely involve looking within, as the roots of the word suggest. Introspection is feeling and listening within as well.

Feeling lost in life can be quite frustrating. There is no map, no course that is highlighted for safety. Instead, humans are left with a little gift called intuition.

Intuition defies categorization into any of our sensory mediums. Intuition is more than listening, tasting, seeing, hearing, and touching, or maybe it is a combination.

I try to avoid comparing life to any of Disney’s movies, for life does not always end in a cheerful chorus of Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah. Yet feeling the voice of Jiminy Cricket should offset despondency and lend guidance to the soul attentive wanderer.

The idea of a conscience is strange to many people, let alone the idea of a talking cricket lending advice and guidance. Yet Jiminy is simply a metaphor. Whether you call it Jiminy Cricket, the internal compass, or just the plain old conscience is irrelevant.

Feeling it is the most important part.

In order to get in touch with one’s conscience, one needs the appropriate environment. This environment may change depending on the person, yet I feel that I can get to know myself best in a quiet environment, equipped with the tools of introspection. What are these tools you ask? And where can I buy them? Time is the first and most important tool. In today’s life, one rarely has an opportunity to sit down and feel one’s heart pulse, or listen to the slow steady sound of one’s breathing. If you cannot hear these things, you will not hear your conscience.

Next, you need some sort of medium that will open your soul up for the viewing. A magical item like this can be as simple as a pad of paper and pen, or a guitar. It must be something that will allow you to express yourself. Something that will allow you to reveal to yourself your truest bearing.

Introspection helped me decide, to my dad’s incredible disappointment, that I was not interested in having a bar mitzvah. Introspection has helped me to decide where I want to live. Introspection has helped me decide not to take my AP tests. Introspection has helped me choose my friends.

Introspection is not narcissism, or selfishness. Living introspectively is simply a more conscious way of living. People often times become experts in their field, yet these same people are often novices in the field of self-understanding. I believe the world would be a much better place, if people lived more consciously. And conscious living starts within.