This I Believe

Nicole - Pearl River, New York
Entered on December 21, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humanism
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I believe in everything. I believe in nothing. I believe personal philosophies change with age, but only if we keep an open mind.

When my English teacher asked us to write down what our final words would be

before we die, my mind was completely blank. Nothing. I thought, “Here I am, sixteen years old, and I do not have a philosophy on life.” Then I thought…who does?

Right now, I am a teenage girl. In this stage of my adolescence, I crave freedom; I believe life should be fair. And why not? My parents are always telling me what to do and my teachers overburden me with homework, and my coaches put pressure on me and I have no time to hang out with my friends, and I have to study for the SATs, and I have to get into a good college, and I have to baby-sit tomorrow, and I have to finish this paper. Twenty years from now, my values will most likely change. I have not yet lived long enough. I need to learn more about the world before I have an assumption about it. I am sure my parents’ philosophies differ from mine, for they have lived longer than I have and have experienced things I have never experienced. My father, being a police officer, has seen things that I have never seen. Right now, most teenagers are naïve. I have only been on this planet for sixteen years while humankind has walked the earth for over two thousand years. As a child, I began to absorb valuable knowledge from others. How to walk, talk, think, and act are just several examples. If I continue the practice of being open minded and listening to others, then I am bound to learn valuable lessons and truths. The human mind is an amazing thing; it grows and changes everyday. Someone whose name now escapes my memory once told me that alone, the human brain is a soggy ball, but when meshed with other brains, it is the most powerful, intelligent item in the world. I may be too young to be “worldly,” but I know that with age comes a great wisdom that can only be obtained by being with others.

I don’t believe in one thing. I believe in so many different philosophies that it would be impossible to put on paper. I believe in life. I believe in death. I believe in believing. And if I have so many beliefs, than the person sitting next to me must have at least as many as I do. And his mother might have different ones than we do. I believe that God put us all on this earth not to fight each other, but to learn from each other. We have a limited amount of time here, so we should learn from others and, in turn, learn about ourselves. I believe that the meaning of life is embedded in the hearts of all humans: young and old, black and white, tall or short. If we do not learn from each other, then we are not living life to the fullest.

My personal views on life can change in twenty years, fifty years, ninety years, or tomorrow. So ask me what I believe in, but be patient because it will take a lifetime to answer.