Sunday, March 27, 2005

This I Believe

A few weeks back, I heard the introduction to the series This I Believe on NPR. I was just going to listen passively, but Colin asked me "what do you believe?" I decided to look at the website, and develop my own statement. This will be a work in progress for awhile. And maybe I'll submit it to NPR, if I'm satisfied with it.

Who has taught me life's lessons? My family, my friends, my husband, and most important, my children. When I wanted to do something that "everyone else was going to do," my mother asked me if I would jump off a bridge just because everyone else did? I did learn to act on my own, and form my own tastes, based not on popular opinion, or even my parents' teachings, but on on my own heart. I'm sure I've made some mistakes this way, but at least they are MY mistakes. My friends didn't always agree with me, and were not afraid to tell me so, either. And they were all loyal people, thoughtful and loving. Thank goodness for all the wonderful friends I've had through the years, even if we have lost touch. Believe me, I think about each of you, often. It was from my friends in La Leche League that I first heard this phrase, "people are more important than things." That phrase snapped my priorities in place, and I have seldom wavered in that. I'm sure our financial position would be better today if I had continued to work, and put my kids in daycare. And perhaps there would have been advantages for all of us in doing that. However, my children have been my most important teachers, and I would have missed many hours of important instruction from them! What little patience, tolerance, and endurance I have, I owe to my children. From my husband, I learned the value of "just doing it." Without fuss or production.

I have found almost all people are potential friends. I believe that we can trust one another, most of the time. I believe that the universe is beneficent. I believe in doing what is necessary, without whining about it. Mumbling under one's breath is OK, however. On the other hand, when the choice is between playing with the children or cleaning the house, I play with the children every time! Those are the times I treasure in memory. And who cares if the windows have smudges? Thank you Donna Trent for that important lesson!

I believe in enlightenment, and in life-long learning. If we all understood one another, we could all get along. I believe in public radio, and in giving them money during the pledge drives. :-)

I believe that the Earth is a living being, and we are all a part of Her. I believe that science is one way to know the nature of reality. I believe that we are not physical beings with a spirit, but instead, spirits having a human experience. So, intuition is a way to test the nature of reality, too. I believe that history is important. If you don't know where you have been, how do you know where you are going? I believe art, drama and music are just as important as reading, writing and arithmetic, and dance is as important as sport. I believe that tears are important, and tears shed in grief are a tribute to those we have lost. I also believe in laughing as much as possible! Thank you all you great comics who puncture the gasbags, and help us laugh even through grief.

I believe in eating when you are hungry, and sleeping when you are tired. I believe in picking up the phone and calling friends just because you think of them. I believe in communication. Three cheers for telephones, email, IRC, instant messaging, and weblogs!

Finally, I believe in freedom and justice for all. As my mother disappeared slowly with Alzheimers, and my dear cousin Carol was defeated by pain and poverty, I saw how our culture treats the old, the sick, the poor. Now that I have the privilege of raising Colin, I see how far we have to go in insuring freedom and justice for all.

Michelle's wonderful Credo:

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