Unconditional Belief

Jacob - Streamwood, Illinois
Entered on October 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Belief is an awe-inspiring thing; it can build up people and nations, while the lack of belief can tear down those same people and nations. Most people believe in something or someone because they trust that thing, idea, or person can do something for them that will affect them in a positive way. These people also are hesitant to believe in things, ideas, or people that they do not trust to act in ways that benefit them. This method of belief I would like to describe as ‘conditional belief’ because it puts limits or conditions on belief. Consider this statement: ‘I will believe in you if you can do this task.’ This is conditional belief at work because the act of believing won’t take place unless some prior requirement has been met.

But I believe unconditionally.

‘Unconditional belief’ is how I describe the belief put forth by individuals who are willing to trust in people, ideas, and things that may not always benefit those believing. Using the example mentioned previously, unconditional belief drops the ‘if’ clause and settles for a much simpler sentence: ‘I will believe in you.’ This style of believing, unlike the conditional style, has no limitations or prerequisites. It is just pure and simple belief. In fact, the person, idea or thing in question might even benefit someone else entirely at the believer’s expense. But this doesn’t faze the true unconditional believer at all. It doesn’t mean the end of his belief, or the start of conditional belief. The unconditional believer never stops believing unconditionally.

Therefore, I believe unconditionally.

I come from a family that eats, sleeps, and breathes the idea of believing unconditionally. There are numerous times that either my siblings or myself have botched tasks set by our parents, embarrassed them in public, back-talked them to their faces, or even gone so far as deliberately disobeying their rules…right in front of them. Perhaps I’ve exaggerated a little, but the point is, despite all the times where I have caused much grief and worry for my parents, they still stood behind me in all my endeavors. Their belief in me, as well as their support of me, came with no strings attached. And my family and I learned to do the same for others as well.

That’s why I believe unconditionally.

Even in my meager seventeen years of life, I have experienced a number of situations where believing unconditionally seems stupid and naïve. And I extremely dislike looking stupid and naïve. But it’s at these moments I realize that believing unconditionally, believing like a child takes way more strength, humility, and bull-headed stubbornness than it does to do almost anything else. And looking back at my life so far, I see that for all the times I’ve looked like a fool, there are many more times, because of believing unconditionally, I’ve been able to accomplish things that my family and I both consider to be nothing short of amazing.

And so I will always believe unconditionally.