This I Believe

Arch - Spokane, Washington
Entered on January 11, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I believe:

I believe in immortality in as much as the human race is immortal.

“You have some hobby” a friend said after she and her husband had assisted on a search and rescue operation for two friends killed in a climbing accident. I have been involved in Search and Rescue for over eight years they had asked my help getting the search process started. In Search and Rescue you try and learn as much about a missing person as you can to help determine what they would do in a given situation to figure out where to start looking for them.

During this search for two people I had never met I heard stories about how they lived their lives, how people had been enriched by their caring and the simple lessons they had taught others. These lessons were now being given to me. Learning about them through others changed me and how I live my life. This happens not just on searches, but in all sorts of situations. Peoples’ lives and stories impact me in large and small ways, sometimes by people long ago dead, and not the famous, not the people who have been written about, but ordinary people who’s stories and life styles and skills taught to others are passed on to me and change me.

I believe that I am immortal and that you are immortal. Each day I interact within the world, I leave it changed, changed by my actions, the views I express and the memories I leave or inflict on others in my wake. These interactions inform and alter the lives and actions of everyone I meet. These interactions are the expression of who I am my soul or spirit if you like. My spirit becomes part of the future.

Within these interactions my soul is distributed, multiplied and diluted as the people I touch and change, touch and change others. The effect of my being blends with that of others, it changes and shapes all those who come after me. All those interactions with my family, friends and co-workers change the world; as do the interactions with the clerk at the store, the neighbor with the ugly (to gaudy for my taste) Christmas lights, the person at the express check out register with 15 items or the driver who cuts me off on the freeway. How I respond will have a lasting impact well beyond my life in time and space.

On good days, I think that the impact as my soul goes out into the world forever is a good thing. Other days my soul falls short of the reverent, loving, joyful thing I would like it to be. On these days it goes out into the world forever and it is still immortal, still effects and informs others lives, as it is blended into humanity for the duration of our ancestors.

When I die my soul may go to heaven, or to hell, or come back as a happy black lab puppy, or sleep the forever sleep without dreams; that mystery is unknown and I choose not to think too much about it. What I know will live on and spread is how I have treated everyone I meet, and that moves me and focuses me in all that I do; on those good days.