NPR has recently restarted an old program called “This I Believe.” In this program, people of note and, often, people of no note at all, submit 500 word essays to NPR for consideration to be read aloud on air.
As soon as I heard about it I wanted to do it. But condensing it down into something so small… well, obviously you can’t cover everything you believe in that space. You have to focus on something, one significant thing. I’ve thought about what this is, what one thing I believe that should be published to the public radio masses, few though they are. And I can’t decide. I have no idea what that one key thing is. But I still… I like the idea so much.
I’ve reached a point in my life where my considerations of what I believe are beginning to weigh heavily on my mind. I used to believe that medicating a psychological problem was a bad idea… but I’m doing exactly that, and I don’t know anymore whether I believe that. I certainly used to believe that I was a conservative. Maybe I still am, but I don’t believe I can call myself a conservative, and I don’t believe the majority of people who would call themselves conservative would have me be one of their number.
I think sometimes about what I used to believe as compared to what I believe now, and I know that it has changed, at least depending on how far back into history I wish to go. 2000? College? High school? Certainly my beliefs have changed in some areas since then. I prefer to think of it, though, not so much as changing as refining. I’ve refined some of my beliefs, through experience and time and age.
We all go through that process. Still, the situation in which I find myself, standing at some sort of precipice and unable to jump, but knowing someone is coming up behind to push me off (I just don’t know when), causes me to want to sit down and really give honest consideration to just what it is that I believe, about life and living, religion, politics, and what it means to be a man. We’ll call this an occasional series; maybe in the midst of it all I’ll come up with something for NPR.
I’ve already written one or two. They are exceedingly long, each approaching 3000 words. Because of this, I’ve decided to post them in another place and link to them from here. This space will continue to be my not-quite-daily digest of things that are on my mind.
With that, here you will find Part I.