This I Believe

Elizabeth - Providence, Rhode Island
Entered on January 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Sometimes I imagine that there’s a little black rain cloud following me everywhere, threatening to drown out any little bit of sunshine that might fight it’s way through those ubiquitous clouds to warm my eager, uplifted face. The clouds in this case are always there; they’re a permanent part of life, I’m afraid. Life’s an uphill battle, that’s what I believe. You’ve got to fight your way through the hard times, always moving towards the sun, towards a glorious happy peace, like a jade plant that grows plastered to the window because it just can’t get enough of the good ol’ sunshine. That’s us. That’s human life. Survival of the fittest for the new age means you have to be able to identify the true enemy out there. It’s right inside your own being. You are the ominous clouds and the cheerful sun, and it’s up to you to decide which you’d rather feed your energy to.

Our struggles in life are not about surviving famines or diseases, although those things are still tugging at our apron strings. These days, while we might still face pesky little germs and hyper-active bacteria, they’re only grabbing a hold of colorful little apron that is nothing more than a distraction from our true selves. We reside in bodies that can be fixed, replaced, repaired, and revived at the discretion of our medical professionals and insurance companies. Sure, the poor die more often than the rich from disease, and they certainly come into contact with a multitude of diseases that the fine hands of our enormous upper class would never touch, but even our most non-discriminatory pest, big bad cancer, doesn’t have the grip on our humanity as I’m sure it would like. In the end, our real survival takes place at a more abstract level. Even if your body is riddled with disease and you have no more than hours to live, I’d place a big fat wager that you’re not looking for redemption from your physical form. No, your real person transcends all of the muss, the fuss, the plastic surgery and expensive threads. At the very end of everything, it’s your soul that makes the true testament for life, for survival, nothing else.

I’ve always been told that life doesn’t come with a rule book, and I’m quite certain that the old man who laughs when I ask, what’s the meaning of it all, is one of the few who understand that the only meaning of life resides right inside your own being. It’s in your stuff, in the nuts and bolts of who you are, in every action you’ve taken, every word you’ve ever uttered. Its part of the stuff you can’t touch or define. It’s there, my friends, that the real battle of life takes place; where you figure out whether you’re going to be the brave crocus sprouting up through the snow determined to seek the sunlight or whether you’ll fall prey to dark clouds and forever impending doom, never even taking the chance.

So, this is what I believe: I believe you must fight. You must fight for good days. You must fight for what is right. You must fight to save your own soul from being swept away with the winds of jealousy, greed, and waste. I believe you must face every day with a big ol’ smile and say, never again, Mr. Raincloud, you will never again darken my soul. You must go out of your way to help others. You must care about things with a deep passion, no matter how many times you’ve been stomped on or kicked or thrown in front of the bus. You must love. Love should fill you up no matter how hungry you are for success, companionship, or security. You should sweat love from your pores. That’s the key to life, folks, love. Love is all there is.

If, at the end of a day that was filled with nothing but black clouds, bitter memories, and angry energy, if at the end of a horrible awful downtrodden day, you can look in the mirror and see a soul full of love shining back at you, that’s when you’ll know that you’re on your way to surviving the biggest battle of all.