This I Believe

Jake - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on August 28, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

I am an American Catholic, I in St. Louis, MO, and I believe in the power of peace. For those who did not know, St. Louis is home to no less than 29 Catholic High Schools in the Metropolitan area, the largest amount of Catholic High Schools in the nation. Because of this, St. Louis citizens have often been raised with a Catholic secondary education. Having grown up in an up-scale, sheltered area of the county, I had never experienced real violence. Under these circumstances, I was instilled with the idea that peace was the world’s norm and expected it in my daily life.

Having been raised in St. Louis for the majority of my life, I was under the impression that Catholicism was the norm. So much so, that I did not meet anyone of a faith other than Christianity until late grade school and early high school.

My first encounter with another religion was on September 11, 2001. Up until that day, I had vaguely heard of the Islam religion but would not have been able to explain any of its beliefs. The violence that was associated with 9/11 was and still is the most frightening moment of my life. For the first time in my sheltered life I experienced true fear, the kind when one is scared for their life. As an ill-informed sixth grader after 9/11, I still had not known anything about Islam, but the one thing I got out of the experience was the idea of peace.

I believe that religion and peace are closely connected, and that peace is that answer to all of Earth’s problems and must start in the United States before it can be achieved elsewhere. I believe peace and religion must be changed in the media. The media’s portrayal of the United States affects how the world views us. Drawing upon the Bible, James 1:26 states “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” This is a stern message to the media the US. I believe peace can never be achieved as long as people continue to slander, lie, or speak heartlessly, especially when our words are amplified over a global scale through the television, radio, and websites.

This idea is very simple and must start on a smaller scale before it can be successful on a universal scale. It’s as simple as doing small deeds for others, as easy as opening a door for another person. I believe it is very conceivable that simple, everyday actions could become habit forming, and consequently peace and goodwill would become frequent occurrences. With America’s influence on global war and politics, I believe the change that I can make within the country will radiate to international ears. This I believe is my future, and America’s future.