I ran into an "I believe" post at Neptunus Lex, whose blog, in his own words, offers up: Tales of the Sea Service, San Diego, Politics and Culture. Lex is an active duty aviator (who unbeknownst to me made Captain --- equivalent to Colonel in the Army --- this past June. If you happen to read this Lex, BZ and congratulations) who's erudite, perceptive, polyglot, tells interesting tales, seems a bit right of center, and is otherwise the sort of reflective warrior I think we should be happy is in the service of our country. He engaged this exercise (well for me it was an exercise, he may have looked at it somewhat differently) on his blog, apparently when he first started blogging as the entry was a fairly long time ago and no one had commented on it --- that by itself was an attention catcher. I read his version of this (I'll let any curious reader go find that on their own --- it's worth the read) and it made me think, "What would I write were I to do this?" I'm sure he didn't intend this as a pass-on meme, he was just expressing what he believed, and it compelled me to think about what I believe in. Interesting question to self, and I found out that it wasn't really all that easy to answer either.
Ok, that said, this is my attempt to lay out what I believe. This, in no particular order, is what I believe:
- Reverence for self, others, and the reality we exist within and all it entails, is essential for harmonious and constructive living.
- Learning, specifically the process and facilitation of learning, is essential to a productive and worthwhile life and society.
- Fealty gives a life purpose, and makes it that much harder.
- Cruelty is sometimes easier than love and understanding; the better person overcomes this.
- You never truly know all there is to know about a person in your life, but often what you do know or love about them makes this unimportant.
- Sometimes saying a lot obscures what's meant to be said; economy in expression is an art that one should try to practice often [Blogger's note: maybe one day I'll practice this myself.]
- One should be generous with a benefit of the doubt, but absolute in the face of deception.
- Most problems are attributable to a lack of self-discipline, patience, and a plan, or otherwise thinking way too much of one's self.
- There are people and ideas worth dying for.
- The strong should protect the weak.
- Our children are the future and we are responsible to both; we very often don't take either responsibility very seriously.
- Few things are as important as conquering, or at a minimum not succumbing to, one's fears.
- Rumi had it right when he said, "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." Finding that beauty and doing it is rarely easy, and often times impossible.
- Camus' Sisyphus had the right idea, and Sisyphus' line of thinking per Camus makes up for the preceding belief if you happen to be on the negative end of it.
- Something of worth and enrichment can be found in anything one does, even rolling a rock up a hill for eternity.
- I really don't care about finding myself; I'm more interested in being comfortable with who and what I believe I am.
- I personally don't have much use for religion, and I'm sure that "being spiritual" is not a religion; if we could come up with something less divisive or silly I might consider joining.
- A person without honor is rudderless and to be avoided as you would anything else, which are usually big and potentially painful, that's rudderless.
- Religion is great so long as it's not being rammed down your throat.
- Faith is also great, so long as someone else is not expected to share it.
- People are more often ignorant than not, and usually for no particularly good reason.
- Your quality of life is likely directly tied to your quality of entertainment [see previous item.]
- Evil exists and sometimes, to our shame, it wins because we let it.
- Coveting thy neighbor's anything is wasted energy, often irresponsible, and potentially destructive.
- Sin exists. Sometimes it's obvious to all, other times it exists only inside us.
- Abortion is a bad thing, but no one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body.
- We're too afraid of death and embracing it when it is the appropriate thing to do.
- The state should not have the power to kill its citizens.
- That justice in this country tries to be blind, and is often unfair. On the whole I'd rather have justice meted out to me here than anywhere else in the world.
- This is the best country to live in for freedom and opportunity.
- Caring what others think of you is rarely worth the energy, unless you're delusional.
- It's important to have someone in your life who can give you an objective reality check [see previous item.]
- We don't do enough to try and help those that, due to no fault of their own and sometimes even due to themselves, are without what they need, especially the young.
- We are all responsible for our own lives and actions, though many of us don't take much responsibility for one or the other.
- Capitalistic democracy is the best possible system of living to live under, though it is too often divorced from helping to better society as a whole as opposed to a privileged few.
- Over time things get better, though it may not seem that way at the time.
- In all things but art truth and logic must trump passion.
- Art often has its own kind of truth and logic, but it should be unfailingly passionate.
- Truth isn't always what it seems.
- Working hard doesn't always pay off as we'd like, but the only worthwhile effort involves working hard.
- We should always act better than the worst of us.
- Prisons should rehabilitate not just incarcerate and dehumanize [see previous item.]
- Living up to one's ideals is a hell of a lot harder than trying to write about them.
- We are all imperfect, we all have bodily functions that on the whole we're embarrassed by or otherwise aren't interested in sharing, and no one by virtue of anything stands above anyone else in this country --- that's the ideal, though money often does seem to get in the way of it.
- Every person has a point that's worth at least a hearing.
- That God is in the interstices of the universe, and if he/she/it is paying attention to what goes down on this planet then there's an awful lot of cosmic head shaking going on.
- That perverters of the truth are a necessary evil in a free society, against which we all need to be vigilant [creationists and intelligent designers come to mind most readily, though they're hardly the only ones.]
- That this country was founded on the principle that ALL men were created equal, that in this day this means that ALL people are created equal, and from
this premise all else should give way. We have too many people who whine about
activist and Constitution-interpreting judges who themselves haven't bothered to read the Declaration of Independence.
- My wife is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Well, for what it's worth, so sayeth James.