Monday, May 30, 2011

This I Believe

My friend over at One Chunky Momma wrote a post about what she believes. She inspired me to write a similar post. It was not easy. I could easily spew what I do not believe, but what I do believe is so much harder to verbalize.  That's probably why politicians always say no and berate the other side, rather than finding solutions. Taking an affirmative position is hard work. (Yes, honey, that last part was for you!)

I believe in the here and now. I believe this is it. Since I don't believe I will be saved, I live each day being responsible for myself and my actions, knowing that I have to be accountable to me and to those that I love.

That has been one of the hardest things I've faced in having a child with a life-threatening illness. I rely upon the doctors, nurses, and therapists to save her life. I rely upon my husband and myself to find the correct doctors. And I rely upon my family, friends, and community to get me through the tough days. While I don't believe prayers are being listened to by someone up above, I can feel the love when people are caring for us and that helps me through.

More than anything, I believe in the power of people. A group of people bound together for a common goal can accomplish almost anything. People working together created the great nations of our world. People working together made modern medicine possible and all of the lives saved. People working together create all of the new innovations, technologies, and theories that propel our lives.

You may be thinking to yourself that some inventions were the result of one person's thought. But I believe that every person who had a great idea was given inspiration from those before them. Even more important, each person who has ever done anything great, has been supported and loved, cared for and nurtured, by someone else.  Even those unfortunate souls who have suffered their entire lives without the love they deserve, have been put in the position they are in because of the people surrounding them.

Each of us are made up of the circumstances we find ourselves in and how we react. Each moment of each day bends and molds our being. Every person with whom we interact changes who we are and who will be.  If we each harnessed the power we have within to better our world, we could accomplish great things.

By smiling to the stranger on the street, we may give that person a reason to smile. By volunteering our time to help others, we give those people the opportunity to get strong again. By holding another person's hand as they grieve or sit at a bedside, we give them strength to continue when all they want to do is fade away.  These things may be simple, but if we all took the time to remember others, our entire society would be better.

I believe in love given freely and shared widely. A person who has been loved, can show love to someone else. Love makes us immortal.

Several years ago, NPR hosted a series of essays written by everyday people and celebrities, where each explained their beliefs. It was a remake of series done in the 1950s or 60s.  And it is by far one of my favorite series EVER. I have a book collecting many of the essays somewhere in my house. I've read them all. I love knowing what others believe and how they came to that point. Penn Jillette wrote an essay about what he believed. It resonated with me more than anything I had ever heard or read before. I even sent it to my mother to tell her what I believe.

After writing this post, I read it again to see if what I wrote was anything close to that earlier essay. I don't think I'm nearly as eloquent, but I don't think my beliefs have changed.

What do you believe?


  1. I think the 'idea' of religion can be nice. But it just hasn't worked out for me (long story). Anyway, there is a great documentary "Lord, Save Us From Your Followers" that I think you would enjoy. I really liked it. "Religulous" was recommended to me, but when I tried to watch it I wound up turning it off after about 15 minutes. There was nothing thoughtful or funny about it. It was just plain meanness.


Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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