When I first starting hearing the audio submissions for NPR’s “This I Believe” project, I wondered if I were given the opportunity, what would I say?
In this confusing season, with wildly contradictory messages being pushed in from all quarters, I thought it was time to sit down and say…
This I believe…
I believe it is every persons right to be given equal opportunity to succeed according to their own capabilities. Barriers should not be imposed by social stigma, political intervention, economic class, or personal ambition.
I believe there is an inherent imbalance in the world as it exists today, that success and personal worth are measured by dollar signs and power, not by personal or societal worth. Any society that rewards a car manufacturer that creates pollution and perpetuates a materialistic worldview, while social workers and school teachers remain underappreciated and underpaid is a world that I believe has an imperfect definition of ‘worth’.
I believe that as individuals our highest goal is to understand ourselves, and by doing so, allow us to understand and help others. By understanding ourselves, we can best know what we can accomplish. Nosce te ipsum. By knowing what we can accomplish, we can visualize our place in the world, and strive to fill that place to the best of our abilities.
I believe that the apparent need for people to apply mysticism and deities to the world around is one of the great mysteries in human evolution. Why objectivity and reality is cast aside and unsubstantiated, self contradictory myths are created and embraced by even intelligent, educated, objective people completely baffles me.
I believe in the wonder of the natural world and the complexities all around us. I celebrate the solstice as a point to mark the continuance of the year. There is no mystical power, no magic, nothing fantastical about it. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel a wonder and joy at the steady turning of the seasons, but I don’t understand the need to create gods and fantasy to make it any more ‘real’ or ‘joyful’.
I believe the capacity of the human mind is limitless. I believe we only know a fraction of what is going on around us, both internally and in the universe, but that as we grow, we will learn, and the wonder will only increase.
I believe I am mortal. I believe I am fallible. I believe I am incomplete. I believe I can and will continue to grow and learn.
This I believe.