Nature, Individualism, and Romance: A Trio of Beliefs

Shandor - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on March 16, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: humanism, nature

A person’s beliefs comprise the core of identity. It is belief, untouchable and unseen, that most thoroughly defines us.

In this world I believe in, above all things, the beauty and intrinsic value of nature and, equally, the power of the human intellect to illuminate nature through art, science, and spiritual belief.

I believe resolutely in the power and necessity of individual thought and of those that, armed only with the substance of their own self-formed beliefs, stand stridently in the face of commonly held views. The power individual thought resists most forcefully the triumph of tyranny and conformance, provides the best and most lasting promise for human freedom, and fosters the continued evolution of the human enterprise to a more compassionate, tolerant, and benevolent condition.

I believe lastly, but perhaps most passionately, in the indelible and lasting force of romantic love. It is in the grip of romantic love that we are most vulnerable and altruistic; that we connect fully to the essential and purposeful core of being; and are at once most willing to abandon the tractor beam of ego to bask instead in the warm light of humble self-sacrifice. Romantic love most compellingly blends the animalistic, emotional, and intellectual aspects of being human and, on a more practical level, provides the basic impetus for the maintenance of our species. Being in love is, perhaps, and in my view, the most profound and rewarding human condition, one that gives rise to the most gratifying and last expressions of art, and upends the relentless and unforgivable shortcomings of our lesser selves—cruelty, intolerance, narcissism, and the pursuit of power.