As a child of the sixties, I believe in standing up for myself even if it calls for shaking things up a little. According to Seek Publishing (2004) the year was 1964 when: the rebellious Rolling Stones started their first tour heading with the Ronettes; actress Anne Bancroft (star of controversial film ‘The Graduate’) and comedian Mel Brooks became married; South Africa sentenced Nelson Mandela to life imprisonment; and I was born. Thus, no doubt, I am a product of these controversial times.
I believe in religious tolerance. In 1964, Cassius Clay stunned boxing experts by beating Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight Championship at Miami Beach. Cassius Clay also underwent a religious transformation frowned upon by the United States when he changed his name to Mohammed Ali.
Despite the fact that I appreciate that religious fervor is a constructive attribute, I cannot bear somebody who is self-righteous and thinks that his or her personal belief is the solitary belief that is of substance in this universe. Yet I do believe in a hard work ethic. I cannot stomach somebody too fond of spending his or her time as a “couch vegetable.” As the great-grand-daughter of a hard-working Barbadian school principal, I inherited a sense of the hard work ethic. I believe in “giving something back” to society, as was personified by my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother.
Furthermore, I believe in avoiding disagreement and undue aggression. Who am I to launch into a personal character assassination that may indeed lead to conflict, because I do not share his or her beliefs? According to Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” I believe in Justice, particularly the brand of justness and fairness towards others. I can not put up with somebody who cheats and takes unjust benefit of other people. Added into the mix, I believe in Honesty. I find it hard to swallow the tales of somebody who lies to a person—particularly to me. As well, I believe in Gratitude, primarily the gratefulness for what God has already given me thus far. Although I recognize we all get sad sometimes, nothing irritates me more that someone who is constantly miserable and discontented about his or her lot in life. I also believe in Humility. I cannot put up with vanity. As the Desiderata states, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” Ehrmann (1920). Therefore, I do not empathize with somebody who is exceedingly engrossed in this outward show.
In closing, “What do I believe?” This question can only be answered by my continued observation, reflection, and quest for higher education as I walk through life learning why “This I Believe” is so important to me. The above ethical thoughts, actions, and deeds were instilled by my grandmother and my mother. I still carry these beliefs forward. And this is why my “This I Believe” makes me who I am today.