I have always believed that spirituality, in its many forms, has been created to help us cope with the unbearable side of life. How does someone continue living after something devastating has happened to them? How do you make sense of that which is nonsensical? When I think about the delicacy of all of our lives, and of my son’s life specifically, I completely understand the need for something larger, something outside our lives that’s managing all of this, that promises a plan is in place and that peace can be ours, if only we have enough faith.

Who wouldn’t want to believe that death offers a new beginning? That if someone you love dies before you do, you will see them again? I can barely type that, thinking about the unthinkable. If my children left this earth before I did. How could I go on without believing that we would be together again?

Well. I’m not sure, really, what I believe when it comes to the end of our bodies and the endless time that happens afterwards. I think the answer is that I truly don’t know, but I think it’s more about what happens while we’re still here.

I have been thinking lately about the small moments of wonder and joy that elevate the humdrum human existence into something nearly magical, and how they can sometimes be as simple as the short, sincere wave someone gives you in their rearview mirror when you let them merge in front of you on the freeway. Or the way a dog will roll on their back in the grass, grunting and bending from side to side to get that one itchy spot. The smell of fresh bread, the clear night sky away from the city lights, the startle of a ladybug taking flight from your arm, the froggy crook of a baby’s legs, the feeling of using a coveted new beauty product for the first time, the sound of Jeff Probst’s voice saying “Come on in guys”.

If there is a point to life, I think it is to experience those things, those tiny starbursts of happiness. Among the successes, accomplishments, passions, sorrows, jealousies, failures, losses, it is the small moments of transcendental goodness that make me feel like every minute of every day is worth living.

So. Tell me, what do you believe in?

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Libby
Libby
14 years ago

I believe in reading websites that make me chuckle, smirk, think and tear up all in the same post. Thanks for writing, Linda.

Melanie
14 years ago

I believe in art. I believe in creating something beautiful. Having drifted away from organized religion over the past several years, the only religion I can say I truly ascribe to is theatre. Being able to do what I do, ephemeral as it is, gives me the only pure happiness I know. Being onstage, when all the stars are aligned (no pun intended) and the person you’re performing with is on the same wavelength as you, and the audience is so still you can hear the proverbial pin drop and you know it’s because they’re just so intent on what you’re doing… there is nothing like that in the world to me. It’s grace.

donna
donna
14 years ago

I believe you *may* have put a (secret) ingredient in your cookies. You are way too happy, and introspective……..

Sadie
Sadie
14 years ago

Heady stuff. I did not grow up with religion; I checked it out in my early twenties in earnest. I joined a church I liked, and attended services for about a year. And what I realized was, I had no use for the religious and scriptural blabbityblah, but I did get something out of each service, and that ‘something’ was a sense of community with people who were all trying to be better. Every week for an hour I got a sincere reminder that I should try harder to live kindly, to improve myself, to care for others.

I don’t attend church anymore, but what I’ve taken from the experience is this: as disgusted as I sometimes get with the general asshattery of humanity, for the most part everyone is trying to do the right thing. And people have so much to offer; when I hear an amazing song that makes me cry in the car, or I read a writer whose words seem ripped from my own soul, or I see some small random act of kindness – all of it restores me. The very sorts of things you wrote about – a smiling dog, a cup of steaming tea in my cold hands, an old man winking playfully at me as we pass on the street – it’s those little pearls I like to string together and rub between my fingers on days when I fucking HATE everything.

Sadie
Sadie
14 years ago

oh, and I wanted to mention to you that it’s nice to read you, because you’re one of those people who can just be happy in the moment they’re in, instead of letting the good things go unnoticed because you’re too busy wishing or trying for the next thing. I fight that feeling of “everything will be great as soon as…” all the time, and force myself to realize right now is great too.

alina
alina
14 years ago

I believe in human and eternal goodness. I believe that without the hope of something more, my life would feel much less meaningful. I also believe in the concept of karma…that what we do comes back to us, and the energy and action we send out effects the world and us in ways we usually don’t know or would understand if we did.

I believe no one will ever be able to explain to me sufficiently when it’s more appropriate to use effect rather than affect.

Nicole
14 years ago

Would you believe that I believe in people? That I believe there is an inherent goodness in people, despite all the bad that goes on in the world, that makes us all want the best for all of us?

And that its really only our methods of achieving the same goal that make us different?

Like Alina said, karma exists. Be the best you can and the good will come back to you.

And that’s what I believe.

Nicole
14 years ago

And whatever you believe, its not mundane.

:)

Stacey
Stacey
14 years ago

I’m a physical therapist who works with children with disabilities ranging from very mild delays to severe special needs. I don’t really know *what* I believe in, but I really want to believe that there is somebody somewhere looking out for these kids besides their parents and me. (And sometimes not even their parents, sadly.)
Because all the little tiny gains that these kids make CAN’T be taken for granted cause they’ve worked too hard to get there- I think I get to be more intensely grateful for all the little successes in life, and for that I am supremely thankful for my job.

So I guess I believe in the power of us as people helping one another out. There’s a quote I love (by Teddy Roosevelt, I think): “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” And I try to subscribe to that.

I don’t even want to know why these bad things are allowed to happen to these babies- why whatever power is out there allows babies to have a stroke at birth, or to be shaken half to death by their mom’s boyfriend, or to be terribly and irreversibly injured in a car accident, or be stricken with uncontrollable seizures for no good reason. I can’t do anything about that, but I can help these kids recover a little bit after the fact, so that’s what I try to do. If I didn’t believe that I could do at least some good, I would be completely and totally depressed every day.

anna
anna
14 years ago

Without sounding sappy, I believe in unconditional love….i had my first child 11mths ago and since then my temper, nerves, patience, energy, organisational skills, and time management have all been tested to the limit. Throughout that time I have found joy in the simple things more than i ever have in my life – i ‘stopped and smelled the flowers’ if you like.
I believe that the finding-joy-in-everything buzz has come with having my daughter Ava, it came along hand in hand with the unconditional love I have for her – I guess that is one of the very cool things about becoming a mum.

Ashley
14 years ago

I am still trying to piece together what I believe. One thing I feel strongly about is putting all your eggs in one religion is dangerous for yourself and others. I still wonder why so many choose to limit their spirituality to one path or organization. We don’t use one sense to experience this world, we use five last I checked, doesn’t that speak volumes, or is it just me?

amy (southkona)
14 years ago

I believe that truth is truth and that you will find it if you earnestly seek it. I believe God is very real but so much bigger than our understanding. I believe that all the things you mentioned were glimpses of what we were made for and that this world is but a reflection of the one which will come next. I believe that if you ask God, whoever He is, for wisdom He will give it to you.

Danell
Danell
14 years ago

I believe that having a child is an amazing new fresh start on life; all that had become mundane and dull is now new and exciting! All the activities that I had either forgotten about or didn’t care about doing any more are worth doing again! Carving pumpkins for Halloween! Ripping the wrapping paper off birthday presents! Finding Santa or Rudolph sneeking through a neighbors yard! All of these things and more just have a fantastic new light to them. My kid makes me look forward to every new day in a way I had forgotten about.
Also, I believe in the healing powers of petting a Labrador Retriever for a few minutes a day.

Joanie
Joanie
14 years ago

This has nothing to do with your entry…

Check out “thriller prison” on youtube.com

Hilarious.

Chiara
14 years ago

I just wrote an entry about this–you are ever inspiring, girl–and I came up with the following:

1) Treat other people the way you want to be treated

2) Do the best you can with the sense you have

3) Love as much as you can for as long as you can

4) Everything is going to be all right

I find the last one hardest to believe sometimes.

Michelle
14 years ago

I believe that this world and life is so much bigger than any one of us, so to limit ourselves is pointless.

I believe pain is sometimes one of those things that you just have to deal with, because the good in this world so far outweighs the bad.

I believe that as long as you keep someone with you, they’re never really gone – as hokey as that sounds. I lost my father almost two years ago but I know he’s with me every day in some way or another.

JMH
JMH
14 years ago

I beleive in God, but it has taken me a while to truly say that. I was brought up as a Christian, but my mom was raised Catholic and my Dad was Presbyterian. They chose to raise their kids in the Lutheran church. Also, I had several Jewish friends and Greek Orthodox friends when I was growing up. I feel that I was lucky to have been exposed to several different beleif systems at such a young age. My parents were also great in giving me the freedom to explore and make my own conclusions.

In college, I drifted away from religion and God. I had a good time, but I wasn’t happy. After college, I found a job, moved away (all by myself) and I was lonely and miserable. I started to pray, but I didn’t join a church. However, I began to notice the small blessings in my life (like you mentioned above) and in the end, my life has turned out great.

So, I beleive in God. However, I do not always beleive in organized religion. I have joined a church, but I don’t think my church(or religion) is the only way to beleive. I beleive that God made all humans inherently good, but that we have to choose the good over evil. I beleive that God blessed me with a wonderful husband and 2 beautiful children as a reminder of his grace. Whenever I see a newborn baby, or a perfect flower, or when one of kids gives me a bear hug with an “I love you Mommy” I feel God’s presence.

I beleive in God.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

That was a wonderful post.

I’m not religious at all but I do believe that something does happen after we die, there is somewhere we go.

The point to life is to live in the moment, I’ve learned that finally.

Jeanette
14 years ago

I believe in God but I believe organized religion is man not God, and that it is the downfall of christianity. I also believe in life after death and that we will be reunited with our loved ones again. For me, having that hope of something better after this life, of seeing my loved ones again, helps me to cope with life in this increasingly violent world.

Kayte
14 years ago

It always seems to me to be harder NOT to believe in God than to believe in Him. When I was younger, I figured that the option of not believing in Him seemed more depressing, etc. than the option of believing. I figured that if “faith” meant just that, that you accept something just on the premise of it alone, what would it hurt to believe and follow the basic precepts set out in the Bible…it has seemed that my life goes a lot better is a lot happier, etc. when I am following along that path. And, then, of course, is just the very real aspect of these types of things: Feelings, thoughts, love…how can any of us define or “see” those without some sort of faith? You can open up a human body and see a heart or a brain, etc. but you cannot see or touch a thought, or see “love” (you can feel the outcome, but you cannot see the actual thing itself), you cannot touch and hold a feeling, other than by sheer faith. I believe…it seems impossible not to do so when I think of these things. (And, truthfully, what is the alternative…I’d rather take a chance and be right than not take a chance and be wrong…what is there to lose?) Heady stuff for an early Saturday morning, but nice to visit these things once in awhile…and you never want to believe more than when you look into the eyes of your child.

Nona
Nona
14 years ago

I believe in the Tao. I believe in love, in kindness, and in always questioning. There’s a banner in out Unitarian Universalist Fellowship that reads: “Any belief that can not be question binds us into error.” It’s a lay-led place, therefore no minister, no one point of view every week, all beliefs welcome, including those who don’t believe in any higher power.I agree that no one religion is the answer, and have found beautiful things in Buddhism, Hinduism, Yoga, Judaism, and many other religions. I, too, don’t know what happens when we die, and I think once you decide you’re right and everyone else is wrong, well, that’s when you create the potential for hurting others. Once you create a hell (or decide you have the only answer) you have to find people that don’t agree with you to reinforce your point of view. Once you’ve created those conditions, you are able to justify all sorts of abominable behavior, because they are immoral, unbelievers, etc. So I also believe in respecting other people’s points of view and religious beliefs, because with respect and tolerance we can usually find a way not to blow the living shit out of each other. (Did I mention non-violence? I’m a complete hippie. Dude, ever wonder how you got to this point in your life?) Great post. You, as always, rock.

Jan
Jan
14 years ago

I read the other comments before I posted mine and was interested to read that several people believe the same way I do – in the goodness of man and the existence of God that is not necessarily shown by organized religion. I was just having a conversation yesterday with a friend in which we agreed that, in spite of what you hear in the news and read in the paper, most people are inherently, deeply and compassionately good. I think most people believe in some sort of higher power as I do and feel that power is manifested in a variety of ways.

I believe sincerely that children, with their beauty, their innocence and their unwavering zest for life, help us both to be good people and to reinforce our belief in that higher power.

I’m going to my grandson’s second birthday party today. I can’t wait to kiss his sweet head.

Gregg
14 years ago

I believe that if you can include Jeff Probst in a post about spirituality, then it’s time for me to stop lurking and start commenting.

I believe that you rock so much more than you could ever possibly know. (seriously…think for a moment about how much you rock. got it? now multiply that by two kabillion. you’re halfway to how much you really rock.)

I believe that whoever said, “Life is in the details,” was spot-on, and is one the lucky ones who gets it.

I believe that people who can put words together and run the spectrum from mine-your-brain deep to double-over funny are truly blessed.

Hence…I believe in Sundry. (I also believe in the word “hence.”)

I believe that inherently good people will eventually get what’s coming to them. And so will bad people.

I believe in a whole lot more, but I also believe that I’ve been known to be verbose to an annoying degree at times. So I’ll stop.

Oh…and “I Believe In Music,” just like Mac Davis.

Gregg
14 years ago

I also believe…that when I find typos or omitted words in my writing, even after proofing my stuff two or three times, I tend to cringe. Eeesh.

How about “…one of the lucky ones…” up there. (not that its meaning was totally lost without that word…but still.)

Swistle
14 years ago

I go to your church.

Also, I wish I could believe in an afterlife. Because if anything happens to one of my kids, I am only sticking around for the other kids.

Swistle
14 years ago

Also, I believe it is not possible to acquire faith. I believe a person has it or doesn’t. People who have it can’t understand why people who don’t have it don’t just CHOOSE to believe. People who don’t have it can’t understand why people who do have it believe in what they believe in but not also in wee purple unicorns.

omu
omu
14 years ago

I believe there’s a force out there – whatever you want to call it – that’s working in our lives. I believe that everything does happen for a reason, only some reasons we aren’t allowed to knwo and some we are. I also believe we were allowed to make a plan for ourselves before we came into the world, and we’re all here to perfect ourselves according to our plans. Some of us learn about love and relationships, some about taking care of others, some never do learn – and they’ll be back until they do.

I believe that once we’ve accomplished what we were here to do, that’s when we leave and go back to the “other side” or heaven or whatever you want to call it. I also believe that if you open your thinking and yourself, you’ll be allowed glimpses into the other side and insights into what it is you’re here to do… We’ve all got those powers, we’ve just learned to ignore them. For a lot of us, they’re what you’d call “gut feelings.”

I don’t think religion is the answer, but for me some form of spirituality has been. Even as a little child being schooled in Catholic doctrine, I thought it was crazy that the only place to find “God” (or whatever you call it) was in a church on Sundays. I didn’t believe it then – nor do I believe it now. My spirituality lets me be surrounded by good wherever I am, whenever I need it.

And yes, I too agree life is in the small things. My little boy jumping in the piles of leaves we raked up for him. Getting TWO hugs while eating together at Arby’s after work one day. His little hand resting on my shoulder as we drift off to sleep together. The little impish smile I get when his face is thisclosetomine when it’s time to go to bed. Some people might not appreciate those moments – but my life has taught me it’s all too possible they may be gone tomorrow, so I need to enjoy them today.

ShannonJ
ShannonJ
14 years ago

Whew, this is heavy stuff. Love it, though, because I think about this topic frequently and discuss it with friends occasionally. I was raised with church (Protestant) but pretty much quit going by high school. My problem with religion and faith is that I cannot turn off my logical mind. I can’t buy the whole immaculate conception idea; it is no more real to me than Greek mythology. I do believe in some sort of creator/force, and I believe in science, too. For instance, I’m sure there was some type of Big Bang, but then where did all that space dust originate? I believe we all have souls, but I don’t know what happens to them when we die. I believe we should make the best of this life, be happy and treat others kindly. Those are things I try hard to do (sometimes not so successfully). I hope that, whatever happens, that I will somehow connect with my family again when we’ve gone. And maybe our dog, who we lost last weekend. I can’t shake the feeling he’s still kind of with us. :)

Great post as usual.

Kim
Kim
14 years ago

What a great entry. I was riding home from a middle school open house the other night and my 11yo girl said “I really love the city at night”. It doesn’t sound like much but it is a simple pleasure and sometimes my children remind me of them.

Their father, my husband has a terminal illness and we are not religious. However, I do believe in the power of people and the obligation we have to the greater good. I loved Stacy’s quote from Roosevelt. I liked it so much I’ve copied it and put it on my desk. Another favorite quote which probably isn’t pertinent to everyone here but it works for my family considering what we are facing. “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste”, it works for me because it reminds me that I will be raising two young girls 8 and 11 on my own in the not so soon future and there is a lesson to be learned along the way. We take what we can from every experience and move forward, keep moving forward and hope that we raise children who are content, socially responsible, inquisitive and caring.

We all have our burdens but I think the simple pleasures are what help us get through some of life’s most unlucky occurrences.

Kim

LauraH
14 years ago

An honest answer is that I don’t know what I believe in anymore. I remember sitting in a room with a chaplain last August and staring into space while he talked about salvation, and the afterlife…and I remember turning to him and saying,”If this is an advertisement for God, I don’t want to buy right now.” I remember people telling me that I would “feel him” (him being my beloved husband) all around me. I don’t feel him. I don’t feel anything having to do with him. There are no “signs” from him. Perhaps I am looking too hard. But, it scares me to think of not ever getting to see that handsome face, the dimples…receive that wink…ever again. And, as Swistle said upthread, I am grateful to have children to keep me here. I’m sorry for being blunt, but it’s really hard to believe in a kind and merciful God-like person when all you loved most in the world is taken from you. Thanks for this entry, Sundry, I’ve enjoyed reading the posts.

Nikki
Nikki
14 years ago

I believe in basic human kindness. I believe there are everyday heroes in all of our lives. I believe that we’re all given second chances, it’s just up to us to recognize them and utilize them. I believe that as long as we remember, the people we’ve loved are never truly gone.
I believe you can be spiritual without ever stepping foot in a church. I don’t think God can be contained in square footage.
I really think that children are a gift—they remind us that we have room to grow, literally and figuratively. I never knew the limitless bounds of my own patience, love, capabilities, frustration, etc. until I became a parent.
I believe that living life means more than work, bills and chores. Living life can be as simple as a grubby boy fresh from his winning baseball game, all smiles and dimples or enjoying the smell and feel of a brand new book, fresh in my hands, waiting for me to crack it open and explore.
I believe that we have to fight to keep from being mired down in the ick of everyday life and that we need to recognize the small things that make our lives worth living.
Thank you for your thought-provoking entries as well as the belly-laugh-inducing ones.
Nikki

angela
14 years ago

I believe that the end is the end, period. So with that in mind, you better whoop it up now while you have the chance. Which is why I am making a couple pans of cinnamon rolls this weekend. I mean, might as well before I’m erased from existence, you know?

Orange Peacock
14 years ago

I’m not religious (though I did spend a few years trying really, REALLY hard to believe in something, anything Big), so I don’t believe in any of that.

It’s kind of odd, and perhaps I shouldn’t draw my worldview from this, but I have bipolar disorder and spend a fair amount of time in absolute despair. But the thing about having a mood disorder is that you appreciate life so much MORE than most people. When the fog lifts, I am just bowled over by how amazing the hazy drippy gray November is, how cool the air feels on my cheeks, the smell of a fresh apple while the juice goes all sticky on my chin, how wonderful that all is.

I don’t believe there’s anything after The End, so I try to enjoy what I’ve got now while I can. And sometimes my brain randomly decides to take that away, so I *really* have to enjoy what I’ve got when I can. Everything worth having or enjoying is fleeting. Everything can be destroyed. It’s worth appreciating while you still have the chance, and to hell with what’ll happen tomorrow or years from now. We can’t control that, no matter how much we’d like to pretend.

I think people who are drawn to writing or photography or acting or creating anything have this ability to get sucked into the details like that.

Life’s like a really good movie…everyone winds up crying when the credits roll, but damn it’s an amazing process getting there no matter what the details.

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

I used to believe in the God of the Bible and all that that entailed. But that God tells his people to be fruitful and multiply. And we have tried and tried and tried to no avail. I am having the hardest time trying to merge what I believed with my whole heart my whole entire life with what is happening to us now and I’m experiencing a massive crisis of faith right now. I don’t know how it’s going to work out. I don’t want to give up my faith and all I believe to be true but I don’t how to reconcile it all.

Ginger
Ginger
14 years ago

I believe that we cannot live with the conscious fact of our fragility and inability to control life. Rather, I think of that powerlessness as the Undertoad (The World According to Garp) that may sweep over us at any time. So it is important to play in the sun and sand and experiene every minute but in a corner of the mind be aware of the Undertoad and not think ourselves invulnerable. This helps us to be more open to people who have been pulled under and to not think “he should be over that by now.”

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

I do not believe there is anything at the end of the rainbow, other than a universal mass to mass, energy to energy. Since you only go around once, you better do it right the first time.
I do believe in the Golden Rule, no God attached, as the only sensible philosophy for folks to get along in a peaceful fashion.
I believe my life is best judged by others in the times I’ve made you smile or received a high five from Riley or helped young people begin impressive careers or, well, so on. I judge my own life on how few people would like to see it end.
I have known Christians (your grandmother included) who believe truly in the mercy of God but never really receive any visible comfort from it when the chips were down. Their grief is as deep as us infidels; if you wallow in despair anyway, it seems naive to espouse that any god has prepared a better place for you.
I believe there is more empirical evidence for life on other planets than for life after death.
And I believe I am happier having finally come to these conclusions. Happy enough to be receptive to those aromas and laughs and sights that surprise you just around the corner.

Aunt Linda
14 years ago

Ooops. That last “Anonymous” was me, just in case you’re wondering who is talking about your grandmother.

She Likes Purple
14 years ago

Gosh, if we could all convey what we believe in so beautifully. But I will convey what I believe in authentically, which is just as good, I suppose. I’m going to make into my next post. Thank you.

Josh
Josh
14 years ago

Meh, god and shit huh? I tried for a very long time to find some way to work withing the system of Christianity. I was forced to go to church every week, for my whole life. And rejecting organized religion puts a constant friction on my relationship with my parents. So i really wanted to find some way to coexist with all the Jebus lovers in the church. And I really wanted to believe there was some great plan for my life with a benevolent cosmic webmaster handing us down a walkthrough for Earth 1.0. But I can’t.

I hated church. I mostly hated the people there, and all the hypocritical bull shit I had to put up with. And their close mindedness and dogmatic refusal to reason through, what I saw to be, fairly simple problems in their ideology.

Now I believe there is a God, but he has no sweet ass plan for my life. He doesn’t care what the fuck happens on earth. There isn’t any grand design, sorry. It’s just a bunch of mostly good people striving to fix what all the mostly bad people have made of this place. There is no true love. There is no eternal happiness. There is no real meaning in any of this crap. Life is just a twisted ant farm for a bored God. Maybe there’s an after life, and maybe not. I don’t really think it will be much better than here. Probably just a reboot to start fresh in some other equally twisted ant farm.

I’ve never had a purpose in life, no reason for being here. I’ve never been truely happy since I was a kid. Every now and then I’ll have a day or two where I am really happy and content, but they are rare. The closest thing I’ve ever found to a purpose is just having as much fun as possible before I die or get killed. So I’ve devoted my adult life to perfecting the art of having fun. But none of it has any real value. It’s pretty much just a lonely way to pass the time before life ends. God, if you’re out there, throw me a frickin bone man.

Josh
Josh
14 years ago

Oh yeah, sweet new banner btw.

Jem
Jem
14 years ago

I believe in God, but I don’t go to church very often and I do have my issues with some things. However clearly we…started somehow, and we are quite complex, so I do believe in creationism. I think that whoever put us down here expected us to be here for a long time without any interjection otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to evolve. I don’t know about evolution as humans coming from apes, where did the apes come from? Why do apes still exist and why haven’t they turned into humans?

That being said, I’m very open to whatever other people want to believe in. I do believe in God as being something not quite as black and white as most people would think of “God” but I know that every time I pray, I have found peace from it, and so I have faith.

I do believe in the afterlife, that we just move into another dimension. I don’t think of it so much as an afterlife as another dimension…I think that if I agreed to come into the planet Earth, I only would have agreed to come here if I knew that I’d be going back somewhere where there was less pain and I’d be able to see all my loved ones again, so I really do believe that if God is real, and there is an afterlife, then we’ll be seeing everyone again. I like to think that they’re kinda laughing at us like “You’re so silly to worry that you won’t see us again!” Of course that doesn’t help very much in the deepest darkest moments of life when things are at their worst, but I guess thats why I have faith…I mean if I die, and it turns out thats it, then I’ll be completely dead and I won’t care anyway. But I really don’t believe thats the case. I know I am a person with feelings and likes and dislikes and even though you could kill me physically, I really doubt you could kill the spirit inside.

And I believe the afterlife is a place to look back on earth and say “Well, this is where I made a mistake, and thats why it happened” and then you come back to earth to try and fix your biggest mistake from last time. I read a theory about that, where you have about 9 major lessons that need to be learnt and each time on earth teaches you a new one, and I believe something like that is true, ’cause I know my lesson this time (or next time?) would be to try not to change people.

Anyway, I hope all that made sense :)

H
H
14 years ago

I, too, have been pondering this intently for a couple of days because of your link to the last words of those executed in Texas. I read most of the offenders’ descriptions and their last words. I wondered about each situation. How a man could kill his children, how he lives with that. When they find God, do they find God? Or is it simply their way of dealing with the horrific things they’ve done? And for some, surely they have found God because they need to believe that there is a Great Being who can save them from being wrongly accused and executed. And, assuming their God exists, what happens after they die? What happens to the judge and executioner when they meet God? I don’t know. I think the only thing I’m sure of is that it isn’t my place to judge.

As for me, I do believe in God but not necessarily organized religion. However, I don’t think there’s one Right Religion. I think there might be one Great Being and we all give Him/Her/It a different label. The important thing in life is, as others have said, the Golden Rule. I believe in heaven but I’m not sure if I do because I need to, or because it really exists.

jonniker
14 years ago

I believe in the ordinary and the small. I think a lot of people in our generation were raised to change the world in some giant, earth-shattering way, when really, changing the world is about small things, and not just about changing the small things, but appreciating them, too.

I think the best thing any of us can do is to spend quality time with our family and friends, be kind to animals and give back to the community any way we can — and by “give back” I mean even the simplest of things like help a neighbor carry something into their garage or, as you said, letting someone merge without being an asshole.

My job as a journalist is extremely satisfying in this regard — I do very small-time journalism in the community, and sometimes that means showing up to a ribbon cutting ceremony and making sure a photo of the event gets in the paper. I do a lot of small things that bring a lot of joy to other people, and those things aren’t necessarily the best things for my own personal career (Do you really think Bob Woodward settled for ribbon cuttings? Seriously?) But that’s part of why I love it. Love.

I’m not sure if I believe in God, per se — I think I do, but it’s hard to say — but I do believe that a life without joy in the little things is a life wasted. I believe that my life is a gift from someone or something, and that every day — every *single* day — I have a responsibility to drink in every possible moment and find the best in what I have been given. I really believe that to do otherwise is disrespectful to … well, if not to God, then certainly to those who are less fortunate than I am.

My job is to play the hand I’m dealt with as much joy, gratitude and kindness as possible.

Barb
Barb
14 years ago

I believe in my husband. The parents, the children, the siblings, the friends….they have all deeply disappointed or hurt me at times. But this man? He has never ever let me down. He makes me feel that I’m special and that I’m loved every day of my life. And, he still surprises me with his kindness, generosity and good spirit.

So when I am not sure why I am here or what I am supposed to accomplish, I take a good hard look at the love of my life and I wonder no more. I believe God fixed His universe one day just so that I could meet this man and find my partner in this thing we call life. And, for 35 years, it’s been a helluva ride.

C
C
14 years ago

Just a little point, Jesus himself didn’t believe in organized religion either. He believed in going straight to the people who needed him, not thru some set of “rules” and doctrines. Religion is MANMADE not God-made, and unfortunately more times than not it does more harm than good.

C
C
14 years ago

Oh and Barb? Your post was beautiful, it’s nice to read about such a wonderfully happy married couple/ and what sounds like such a great, great man.

kaitlyn
14 years ago

I believe in God. I believe in all the beauty that surrounds us. I believe in love, in the innocence of children, and in appreciating the small wonders of life.

kendra!
14 years ago

I believe in C. S. Lewis’ wisdom — that if I find in myself a desire that no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. I’m passing through, trying to keep my little patch of green off my little ghetto patio free of weeds, trying to cultivate a kind spirit to all of my neighbors so that my child has a model to follow, trying to discern something bigger than myself. But I am burdened by and encouraged at the same time for a hope beyond this world. Say Christ came back tomorrow. Would I be fearful, or ready to welcome Him back. It’s a burden and a hope, n’ah mean?