I Believe in the Imperfection of Mankind

Cameron - Kent City, Michigan
Entered on September 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: hope, humanism
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When this essay was first presented to us in my Teaching Writing class I felt like it would be easy. I believe in God. There, all done, time to watch re-runs of the Home Improvement (guilty pleasure). However, there were guidelines, one specific guideline threw my belief out the window (and kept me from the Tool Man); it had to be original. Believing in God is not original, there is nothing wrong with it, it’s just not a new idea. So, I sat and tried to break down what my belief in God entailed. When I was little I believed in God to stay out of Hell. When I was older I believed in God because everyone I knew did. When I matured I realized that I believed in God because I believed. Faith is why I believed. This didn’t get me anywhere, “Jesus! This essay is hard,” I thought. “Whoops can’t say the Lord’s name in vain,” my conscience told me, and there it was. I screwed up, I sinned, I broke a commandment, I believe in the imperfection of man.

Wait, what the hell does that mean, dammit I sinned again, crap. I began to analyze what I thought it meant. As a Christian I needed the crucifixion of Christ to get to heaven because I am a sinner, and was made clean by being washed in his blood (metaphorically of course). Without my imperfection how would I know of God’s compassion? For that matter how would I know about anything? Why would I get up in the morning? Why would I go to bed at night? All these questions began manifesting themselves and I quickly realized this essay is hard…it makes me ask hard questions…too hard. I decided to answer the one’s that are less controversial.

I need purpose to live. If man were perfect man’s sense of purpose would essentially be lost, even if someone felt their purpose was something as vain as making money. Even then a perfect world would hinder that purpose; in a perfect world everyone would live with an equal amount of money, theoretically. I feel my purpose will be found in teaching and coaching children. I want to affect someone’s life in a positive way. If there is nothing negative in a child’s life then how will I make a difference? That sounds selfish, right? I would throw a fit if there was no plight in the world, but the only reason that I feel I have this purpose is because there is plight, there is imperfection. I have a kid right now on my Freshmen Football team that needs some good to happen to him. His family has been evicted from two homes in two years. His dad can’t hold down a job and now his family is spread out all over the county, living with different people. He lives with a teammate’s basement while his parents and siblings are divided amongst other various families.

So, when he comes to me and says, “Coach, I have to talk to you.”

“What is it?”

“I can’t pay the $75 activity fee, or the $40 equipment fee to play football.”

What do I say? “Sorry, bud, you can’t play?!”

Heck no, I say, “Don’t worry about it Leroy (made up name) I’ll let you play because I like you, and I want you around.”

Because, he comes to me with a smile on his face, but tears in his eyes as if to say, “Coach, I’m hurting right now, but I don’t want you to see it. So, I’m going to smile a big toothy smile and hope to God you don’t notice that I’m crying.”

That is why I am here. Leroy needs hope and there is always hope in an imperfect world. I see that imperfect man is still doing some good in the world and that gives hope. If there is hope man continues to struggle to move forward. The imperfect man is resilient, resilience leads to change, and change can make the world a better place. I believe in a better world, therefore I believe in the imperfection of man.