Saturday, April 17, 2010

At 23

I believe in all the Gods, and trust none of them.

I believe in one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, which I no longer attend.

I believe in Twitter, Facebook, text messages, pie, and all the other tangible things people say they don't believe in.

I believe in all the things I can see, and more than a few things I can't.

I believe in evil.

I believe in good.

I believe that people are better than we give them credit for, but worse than we may hope.

I believe there is no right way to live your life, but there are more than a few wrong ways.

I believe there is sin.

I believe there is salvation.

I believe that the human experience cannot be explained singularly by science, culture, or religion, but by a combination of all three.

I believe in a thing called love.

I believe there are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in philosophy.

I believe that bad things happen to good people, that good things happen to bad people and that there is no reasonable explanation for either.

I believe that natural disasters are natural.

I believe in myself, because I can't count on anyone else to.

I believe.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Lattice

In A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers describes the human community as a lattice:

"The lattice is the connective tissue...I see us as one, as a vast matrix, an army, a whole, each one of us responsible to one another, because no one else is."

To be a part of the lattice, you don't need to be brilliant, or rich, or powerful. You just need to believe in the lattice, and be. Those words have stuck with me for years. I am part of a smaller lattice, and that lattice has both made me who I am and kept me strong. It is comprised of the people that I love, people who have passed through my life, and sometimes people I don't know at all. My mother, my sister, my family and friends, my loved ones who have gone on to a better place, every boy I ever dated, the Cannonball Read participants, Pajibans, random people whom I pass on the street or hold the door for me - every one of these people have built and reinforced my personal lattice and brought something new and special into my life.

The framework of my lattice is love, kindness, and caring. When these things are interlocked they become stronger than the sum of their parts and they bear me up. By the same token, I am part of someone else's lattice. I may not even know it. But with each kind gesture, supportive word, or expression of encouragement and love, I am helping to bear someone else up. One of the best examples of this connection is Facebook; how many friends do you have on that social networking site whom you've actually met in real life? Often it is the friends you don't "know" who are there to support you when you lose your job, your home, a loved one, your mind. One small kindness adds another rung to someone's lattice. We are responsible for each other. We are responsible.

I believe in the lattice.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Theme: This I Believe

I don't know how many of you listen to NPR or are familiar with Edward R. Murrow's series by this name. I was hooked on the NPR series since they restarted it a few years ago and every time I heard it, I'd think, "I'm going submit something!" I didn't and now the has series ended.

While in its most recent on air version, there were a number of famous people sharing their beliefs, I loved the idea of a platform where people could share their principles. Listening (and reading the essays) over time, one sees that some beliefs are fundamental to who the people are and has always been with them; like Muhammad Ali's essay, I Am Still the Greatest (which is one of my favorites). Others' beliefs are results of experiences that shape them over time.

So this month's assignment is one dear to me. Tell us what you believe and why.