By Ross McCoubrey
I believe in random acts of kindness.
I believe in simple, small gestures.
I believe a handshake is a contract.
I believe in good manners at the table and in general.
I believe in the power of positive thinking.
I believe a person of true faith does not require a religion.
I believe animals have souls.
I believe hugs have healing powers.
I believe silence speaks volumes.
I believe in tears of sorrow, tears of joy and that a strong person fears neither.
I believe in finding the beauty in the everyday.
I believe dandelions and daisies in a tumbler on the windowsill are the perfect floral arrangement.
I believe spring peepers offer the hope of summer.
I believe in angels, I have seen them.
I believe in ghosts, I have seen them, too.
I believe that true friendships are invisible to the lines of family.
I believe Hope is more than just another four letter word.
I believe giving is the greatest gift.
I believe in respect for other people’s opinions even though we may disagree.
I believe in getting all the information before forming an opinion.
I believe in voting.
I believe in respecting other people’s property.
I believe reading opens doors to other dimensions.
I believe in dreams.
I believe in doing the right thing the first time.
I believe a job well done is its own reward.
I believe in loyalty.
I believe in passion.
I believe in romance.
I believe in love at first sight.
I believe in patriotism – but not blindly.
I believe actions speak louder than words.
I believe in recycling.
I believe art, no matter the medium, should be respected.
I believe a great film, even if it is about a depressing subject, makes you feel better for having seen it.
I believe in equal rights, not special rights.
I believe some of my greatest acquaintances are fictional characters.
I believe in remembering the victims, not the villains.
I believe in being able to be mature while still being young at heart.
I believe in proper commemoration and respect for our military personnel, whether or not you agree with the battles fought.
I believe in taking your hat off at the table.
I believe in respect for the flag.
I believe in working late into the night to get the job done.
I believe in giving credit where credit is due.
I believe people will disappoint me.
I believe people will hurt me.
I believe people will use me.
I believe people will claim their god is better than my god.
I believe people will fight to exclude me from having the same rights and privileges they take for granted.
I believe people will overlook me.
I believe people will criticize my work.
I believe people will laugh at my dreams.
I believe people will demand more of me than I have to give.
I believe people will say one thing and do another.
I believe people will destroy art rather than take time to appreciate it.
I believe people will forego manners in preference to laziness.
I believe people will give me more work to do so they have to do less.
I believe people will cut me off in traffic, let the door shut in my face, and throw random insults at me.
I believe people will lie to my face.
I believe people will stab me in the back.
I believe people will take from me, from others, from this earth, and never give back.
I believe people will treat animals as property.
I believe people will not respect property, their own or others.
I believe people will destroy nature without a thought to the consequence.
I believe people will speak the loudest with the least to say.
I believe people will blame the victim or the weapons rather than the guilty.
I believe people will become so afraid to show emotion they stop to feel altogether.
I believe people will not vote yet complain that nothing changes.
I believe people will form their opinions based on popularity.
I believe people will scoff at the notion of there being angels and ghosts.
I believe people will take for granted the country they live in and the hard-fought battles that it took to create and maintain that country.
I believe people will try to make me give up, to make me abandon my beliefs, to tell me I am lesser, to insist I have nothing to say, that what I do doesn’t matter, that I am ugly, to tell me I am an abomination.
When I have reached the summit of my despair and stare down into the valley I must make a choice: either I join the mass of people wallowing in their self-pity, their complacency, their expectancy, their self-absorbance, their defeat OR I go back to the top of my list and start again.
It is my list of what I believe that matters. It is my code, my ethos, my doctrine, my edict, my canon, my dogma – my core; that which I hold dear in my steadfast resolve to persevere against the tyranny of waste, war, want, and woe.
I go back to my list and I start anew, making one addition to the top:
I believe in me.
And that is where I begin.
Author of One Boy’s Shadow
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