This I Believe

Elizabeth - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on February 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

My dad watches Fox News a lot, but I don’t much care for it. Most episodes of Hannity and Colmes, one of Fox’s shows, involve a good deal of two sides debating, screaming, arguing, and talking over one another. It’s not my cup of tea, but I often do find myself watching them. I wonder why quite often: why am I watching a show that I don’t even really like? There are several answers, chief among them is that it just happens to be what is on the TV, but I think that another one is that Hannity and Colmes, on some level, fascinates me. Why is that? I’ve thought about it and I think I understand the reason: everyone is certain that their side is right.

I remember when I was younger, not too much younger than I am now, I used to be very certain too. I believed in this, I believed in that. I was sure of myself and what I thought. However, as I got older, that started to change. It happened slowly, but it happened. I don’t think that there was a single moment when I began to see the world differently; it all happened so slowly that I couldn’t tell until I did. I began to see the other sides of arguments, though I didn’t agree with them. Even though I didn’t agree, I thought about what they were all saying, and I think that a little bit of all those opposing viewpoints went to heart. I began to wonder about what I believed in. I began to wonder if I was truly right or truly wrong. I came to the conclusion that I was always somewhere in between.

I believe that nothing in this world is completely good or completely evil, completely white or completely black, completely right or completely wrong. To me, all things in the world have an opposite viewpoint, an opposing force. For every yes answer, there is something that says no and for every no answer, there is something that says yes. Evil may have been born of good intentions, and good born of evil ones. I can never be completely certain that I am right, and I can never be completely certain that I am wrong. When I look out the window, when I turn on the news, when I hear two people fight, I hear and see a world colored in shades of gray. Some grays are lighter than others, and some grays are darker, but everything has at least a little gray in it.

When I see Hannity and Colmes, it’s like looking into the face of certainty. Everyone is so certain, everyone is so sure of their beliefs. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing. If everyone were unsure if they were right, would nothing get done and our lives never get better? But even so, I think that sometimes, it’s good to step back, look around and think about where others are coming from, even if it is only because I want to reevaluate myself. I think that every time I do, I gain a little more insight into the world.