Tuesday, May 06, 2008

This I Believe

One of my favorite segments on NPR is "This I Believe." For months, I've been contemplating what I would say if challenged to present what I believe. Aftering thinking about it long and hard, I couldn't possibly express what I believe in one succinct essay like the presenters do on the show.

One thing becomes clear, though I used to be a young idealist, as I grow into middle age, I am finally becoming comfortable enough in my own skin to acknowledge that things are NOT as clear-cut and black and white as I once believed. So I can't make a single all-encompassing statement about what I believe, and honestly, you may wonder why I express these thoughts at all. It's not to try to change yours or anyone else's mind, it's because by expressing some of what I believe, I hope to challenge YOU to think about what you believe deep down.

My beliefs/ideas about life will be expressed in brief snippets over the coming weeks/months. Here's what rises immediately in my mind today:

Ask for what you want. Really. Practice confidence. Granted, you MAY get your request turned down, but even then, it's okay, you asked. You definitely won't get what you want if you don't ask. Time and time again, I see people get positions, opportunities, and THINGS in general. Why? Not necessarily because they are the best qualified or most deserving, but simply because they made it known what they wanted. If you express your goals, dreams, and desires, you may not always get it, but you're more likey to.

Ask yourself frequently, "Is __________ (fill in the blank) working for me?" So often we stay in habits and patterns that are fruitless and aren't getting us anywhere. Change something up and you may see improvement.

Question everything. It doesn't mean you have to be a total rebel - it's just downright healthy to question authority, question the news (especially now with all the new orgs being owned by a few corporate giants). Most of all, question your own beliefs and ways of seeing and doing things. It keeps your mind agile and makes you a more well-rounded person.

It's really not personal. Many things that happen to us seem personal, but all so often, they really aren't. People are doing the best they can, and sometimes they hurt us. Even if the intent was to hurt, what they say or do says more about them than yourself. The hurt is OUR decision.

Hope you enjoyed these snippets. And even if you don't, it won't hurt my feelings (see number 4 above).


Ellen Bloom said...

I LOVE that segment on NPR too. I've often wondered the same thing. What would I say if I was asked to submit an essay on my beliefs? I would probably say something cliche' like, "to thine own self, be true" because what matters most is what you think of yourself. Thanks for the nudge. Now, I will actively think about this.

The Corner Muffin Stop said...

Celle, I enjoy the This I Believe segment on NPR too. I missed this particular segment so will have to go online and listen to it. I've had to write several 'statements of faith' professionally through the years, but they have to be so couched politically that a true This I Believe essay would be so much more refreshing, which is one reason why I think I appreciate the NPR segment so much.