I Finally Know What it Means

anna - west harrison, Indiana
Entered on November 5, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

For the first time in a very long time, I’ve let my precious faith rest in someone else. I’ve believed in someone other than myself.

This is something I don’t do often. Not in friends or family do I regularly invest my precious little faith; not even myself a lot of the time.

But I’ve allowed myself to hope and to trust that I’ve helped to elect a good President, our first black President. I’ve allowed myself to hope, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that overall this is a good and moderate society which can handle something that should be so inconsequential as a President who happens to be the son of an immigrant who didn’t come from a long line of humans dwelling in and originating from a western European country.

I’ve allowed myself to hope that the person I cast my ballot for in this election is a good, honest, decent, and capable man (who just happens to be able to form full coherent sentences that don’t make the people who transcribe the Closed Captions on TV look like a bunch of drunks).

I’ve learned what faith is, and I think that this election has brought me to a place of maturity I wondered if I’d ever reach. I feel, in this election, that even if Barack Obama doesn’t turn out to be the kind of inspiring and marvelous figure I hope he’ll be, at least I cared enough to believe he would be. At least I cared enough to put my faith into someone.

I haven’t ever been able to ascribe to a religion or a party (which, these days, appear nearly synonymous). I’ve never been able to truly believe in anything or anyone – many times not even this nation I’m from. But this man I believe in – because he asks me to believe in myself and my country. Because he seems to believe in us, himself. And even if I’m wrong, even if Obama is a lame duck or a narcissist, at least I cared enough to believe, to vote, to hope and to admit these feelings I have without shame or hesitation.

This is something I’ve never been able to say; that I cared enough or was convinced enough to truly believe. But at least this year of all years, my first year as an eligible voter, I was able to put my faith and my trust into someone.

And that, no matter what the next four years bring, means so much. That’s all that I need to not regret the choice I made on November 4, 2008.

This I believe :

That it is just as important to believe in what you think is right, as it is to be right. That it is just as important to stand up for what you believe is right, even if others don’t agree. And that it is important, in a world so uncertain and so fluid, to have something or someone to believe in…Even if what you believe in turns out to be much less than you’d hoped for. Because without belief and hope, the human species becomes paralyzed. It becomes a tired and pointless endeavor to keep living without someone to believe – whether in a teacher, a mentor, a savior, a President, a priest or a friend.

In my case it’s an ideal, and a man who appears to represent it. And I will never regret what I believe today, no matter what happens.