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Believe

Posted on Friday, March 30th, 2007

Dave!A couple of days ago, Karl had written about running across an entry by Alissa about an NPR show entitled This I Believe, where people get air-time to talk about their personal beliefs. Well, Karl went ahead and typed out what he believes, and it was a fascinating, beautiful read. I left a comment saying "I wish I had the guts to do this," and then moved on to the next site on my blogroll. It's not that I don't have the guts to write my beliefs, I'm just not comfortable sharing them on my blog.

But then last night when I was at the grocery store, something happened to change my mind.

I was walking down an aisle looking for microwave popcorn, when I spotted a Hispanic woman shopping with her two children. She was carrying her youngest child, an adorable girl with wide eyes in a cute little sun dress. Trotting along ahead of her was an equally adorable young boy wearing khakis and a bright blue button-down shirt. His hair combed, belt buckled, and shoes cleaned, he looked like he hopped out of the children's section of an Eddie Bauer catalog. As the little boy walked down the aisle, he would point out objects and speak its name in Spanish and English. "MAÍZ! MAÍZ!" he would shout, quickly followed by "CORN! CORN!" It looked to me like he was teaching his mother English, as he was constantly looking back at her as he pointed and spoke, but he could have just as easily been practicing his own English skills. Whatever he was doing, it brought a smile to my face, because he showed such enthusiasm in his never-ending task of translating everything in the store.

The moment was too good to last, of course.

Coming from the opposite direction were two skanky bitches who took great delight in giggling "UNEMPLOYMENT! UNEMPLOYMENT!" and "WELFARE! WELFARE!" as they passed.

I was immediately consumed with rage, and was about to point at them and scream "BITCH! BITCH!" and "SKANK! SKANK!" but realized that this would only bring myself down to their level, and ultimately accomplish nothing. Instead I stood there fuming as the boy, only temporarily interrupted, continued on with his efforts. "JUGO! JUGO! - JUICE! JUICE!"

It was then I realized that what I BELIEVE is that nobody should be looked down upon or thought less of because of how they look, where they come from, what they believe, or who they love. And anybody who would persecute somebody for any of these things... particularly a child... is pretty pathetic. Who knows what the future may bring? Assuming that his intellectual curiosity isn't crushed by redneck racist bitches at the grocery store, this little boy could grow up to become President of the United States one day. His potential is limited only by the confines society would choose to place upon him. Knowing this disgusts me to my very core, because I've just witnessed first-hand the adversity he will be facing every day of his life. Everything else aside, this little boy... so happy in a world full of possibilities... can be dismissed, ignored, crushed, or tossed aside based solely on his heritage, without so much as a second thought.

What a waste.

It's not that crap like this is something new to me, it's just that seeing such a vivid example of this despicable shit really puts a damper on your day.

It also makes you want to blog about what you believe, even if it is in an extended entry...

THIS I BELIEVE

As somebody who turns to Buddhism as a blueprint for living, I believe that all life is sacred. I believe that, whenever possible, life should be cherished and respected. Whether this means catching a spider and taking it outside instead of stepping on it... or accepting people for who they are and not judging them because they are different from you... it's all the same. Life is a miracle that you can witness every single day, and to not be amazed by it all is an offense to whatever beliefs you hold dear.

This leads to all kinds of decisions that everybody has to make for themselves. I don't eat meat. I do, however, wear leather shoes because I can't find an adequate substitute. In any event, I don't judge people for their personal choices in matters like these, and would prefer it if others extend the same courtesy to me.

Like Karl, I believe that children should be loved and protected above all other things.

Unlike Karl, I believe anyone who would inflict physical or emotional damage upon a child should be shot in the fucking head, as there is no place on this earth for one who would corrupt the innocence of a child. This is very difficult for me to reconcile with my mandate to cherish and respect all life, but I somehow sleep just fine at night knowing I believe this.

I do not, however, believe that any justice system is incapable of making a mistake where capital punishment is concerned. Because of this, I don't believe in the death penalty, even for child rapists and abusers who I think deserve to be shot in the fucking head.

I believe that all people are equal.

I don't believe that somebody who believes differently than I do is wrong. I don't believe that people who have a skin color or eye color or hair color or shoe size different from mine are inferior. I don't believe that those who speak a different language than I do are uncivilized. I don't believe that lines drawn on a map can make one group of people be more important than any other. I don't believe that my way is the only way.

I believe we are all on this earth together, and man's constant need to divide, separate, and classify people is one of humanity's biggest failings.

I believe that personal choices should not be regulated, prohibited, or demonized by the government of these United States or its citizens unless such choices would bring harm to others. I believe the same for governments of other nations but, since I am not a citizen of other nations, they should decide for themselves how they want to be governed.

As an example, I believe abortion is wrong, because I believe that life begins at conception and all life should be cherished. I accept, however, that there are people who have different beliefs about when life begins, and they should be allowed to follow their own conscience without having contrary beliefs forced upon them by myself or the government.

With this in mind, I believe that labeling the USA as a "Christian Nation" as justification for trampling people's beliefs is absurd. Anybody who does so at the expense of the 25% of us who are not Christian are dumbasses who need to read The Constitution upon which this country was founded. I further believe that, of the 75% who claim to be "Christian," only a small fraction actually live up to Christian ideals (which is why being judged and condemned by these people is amusing to me, and why I despise people like Pat Robertson for doing so).

Likewise, I believe that who you love and how you choose to express or acknowledge this love is nobody's fucking business.

Especially the government's.

I believe that two people who love each other should be able to get married. Even if they both have a penis. Or if they both have a vagina. Or even if they can't define their sexuality at all. If two atheists can be married in a non-religious ceremony by a justice of the peace and be recognized by The State as "married," then the government has no business branding marriage as a "religious act," and should allow any two people to marry. Otherwise, it's just selective persecution by a body elected to represent all people, and illegal discrimination.

I believe that to hate anyone or anything is a horrendous abuse of energy and not a constructive use of time.

That being said, I have no problem admitting that I hate Ann Coulter and people like her who choose to use hate as a tool to divide us. I believe that people who persecute under the pretense of being persecuted should be reviled, vilified, then ultimately forgotten for the benefit of all mankind.

I believe that the diversity of people on this planet is the best thing about it, and there's room enough for everybody. I would be happy spending the rest of my life traveling this earth and meeting as many different people from as many different places with as many different beliefs as possible. I believe that if more people could stop seeing diversity as an excuse to hate, this planet would be a much better place.

Above all, I believe friends, family, and a good laugh make life worth living.

I believe that this entry is entirely too serious now, and our trivial beliefs can be the most fun...

I believe that Depeche Mode is one of the greatest bands ever, and seeing them live in concert can change lives.

I believe that Jeremy Piven's Cupid was the greatest show ever to air on television.

I believe that Elizabeth Hurley is the most beautiful woman on earth.

I believe that any bagel made outside of New York City is not really a bagel at all.

I believe that a Macintosh is the only computer worth owning.

I believe that Batman is the coolest comic book character ever.

I believe that if I don't stop believing just now, this entry will go on forever because I believe in a lot of stuff.

But lastly...

I believe that if you were to believe in only one thing, it should be that compassion and caring for other living things is all that really matters.


Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Karl says:

    Dude, you rock. I knew you could do it!

  2. Hilly says:

    Favorite. Post. Ever.

    For some reason, I immediately and instinctually liked you, trusted you, and had no problem confiding in you. That goodness in you that you completely show here is why. More people need to aspire to reach your level of kindness and ability to love all things that seem “different”.

    As I said in my email, this post really did blow me away. I may still have a look of “shock and awe” on my face, but in a good way. It’s amazing how I share a lot of your beliefs and a lot of Karl’s beliefs as well.

    Color me completely impressed, Dave….seriously.

    I believe that since you and Karl both did this, I should follow suit and put myself out there (yeah, cause that is a stretch!).

  3. Liana says:

    On the lighter side: I agree with the Depeche Mode comment. I walked into our local music store and asked this clerk if they had the second set of Depeche Mode’s Best of years ____-____. The guy actually looked at me and said, “Who?” Who? I very nearly stomped on his stupid 19 year old toes! “Who?!”

  4. keryn says:

    I believe I love you…that was incredible.

  5. Avitable says:

    I believe I can fly.

    I believe that 18 is too old for consent.

    I believe that Dane Cook is an unfunny motherfucker.

    I believe that my food just got here.

  6. And for the second time in two days I have goosebumps. You are a great person.

    The story about the boy makes me so sad. Being a minority is rough and I could write a book on the epithets I’ve experienced. But the beauty is the resiliency that kid showed. That’s what gives me hope.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. RW says:

    I believe you should stop judging those stupid skank bitches just because they’re different than you or believe differently than you do.

    But I also believe they need to have a red hot poker as thick as my fist rammed up their squinty, bitchlike, assholes.

    I guess it’s kind of like that abortion thing.

  8. claire says:

    “I believe we are all on this earth together, and man’s constant need to divide, separate, and classify people is one of humanity’s biggest failings.”

    Abso-frakking-lutely. Though many states of affairs suck at the moment, your positive and compassionate outlook makes me feel a bit better about it all. I’m glad you’re out there, Dave, and I’m thankful for Blogography- from silly to serious.

  9. Hey, gosh, this is my favorite post ever. The story of the little cutie pie in the store really got to me. And I’m so glad you shared your beliefs. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the things you wrote about diversity – it’s the most exciting part of life. Great post, Dave. I’m glad you put it out there.

  10. Jeff says:

    Oh way to go Karl, now look what you’ve started. But once two of the best writers in the blogsphere go first – how are the rest of us ordinary people supposed to follow that?

  11. sizzle says:

    i knew i liked you.

    love this.

  12. Robert says:

    Just want to say, I absolutely love your cartoons, AND the character, which I’m thinking that’s supposed to be you!!! Too darn cute!! Hmm, now I forgot where I hopped over from!?!

    Anyway, what a wonderful post for me to come across tonight. Thank you Dave. “Goodwill towards all is true religion.” I believe that.

    Have a fantastic weekend!! xoxo

  13. NYC Watchdog says:

    I believe that is the best post I have read thus far this year.

  14. Bre says:

    Gorgeous. Truly! I think it’s so powerful to have bloggers use their voices in this way … it just seems so important, you know?

  15. You and Karl really outdid yourselves with the “I Believe” posts. The way you wrote about the little boy, well, I could picture it in my mind so vividly, and it brought tears to my eyes. Why is there so much hate in this world?

  16. Kapha says:

    Beliefs are behind all the good and evil in the world.

    I believe I have a right to your ______ and thus have the right to harm/kill you for it.

    or

    I believe I can succeed and overcome all obstacles.

    etc.

    It’s that whole tribal thing with the women in that store. The only thing that makes them feel good is thinking they are making others feel bad. Pathetic is the best word for it. I have a feeling that little boy will go a lot further in the world than either of them.

    Like crabs caught in crab traps – apparently they will kill any crabs that try to escape.

  17. Michael says:

    Very nice and powerful stuff (also read yours, Karl, and it’s great, too)! I think I’ll try and do something like this…once I’m not as tired.

  18. margalit says:

    I believe that not only are you adorable, you’re a kind and righteous man even when you pretend to be a gun-toting asshat looking for people to knock off on the highway. Because I also believe you have a heart the size of Kansas and are compassionate and loving. See, you didn’t fool me at all!

  19. Turtle says:

    You should write a book. Seriously, even if it’s only two or three pages long. Someday, when you have more time, you should illustrate each of those points and make a looping gif out of it. That was just beautiful. I’m amazed no one has flamed against you yet, because I’m sure there’s millions of people out there who completely disagree with you.

  20. Troy says:

    My beliefs are a little bit different than yours but not in a major way. I just don’t like Depeche Mode :)

  21. I’m irked by the story of the boy in the market. As a single mom of 2 young girls, I am forever focused on praising them, encouraging them and teaching them to be kind and either stand up to or walk away from those who aren’t. I see it in their eyes at the end of a very long hard day, when my patience is wearing thin and I feel exasperated and short with them and find that so little can break a child. And sometimes it can be as much as shouting to give me privacy while I pee in the bathroom, for once…I know, because I am still healing from parts of my childhood, and in the process, breaking patterns with my own children which for me, is the greatest gift I can give. I love how you write about this child and his enthusiasm with his mother and pray he can stand up to shit like the skanks who abused him in the store…I could write on and on on your post, but instead will just reflect. Thankyou.

    I like what you believe. Except I think Spiderman is the best comic book character ever, but possibly only because my girls are scared of Batman.

    AAAAH time to break out the old Depeche Mode cassettes!!!!

  22. jenny says:

    excellent and insightful post, dave. another reason i’m glad to know you.

  23. suze says:

    The story about the little boy broke my heart yet made me smile at his ability to just keep going. I hope he keeps that ability all through his life.

    Your list – all of it, from the mundane to the profound – is beautiful. I might not agree with you on all points (and that’s okay, it’s not my list…) but I do agree, oh so strongly, with your last remark. If we just cared for and respected everyone around us, this world would be the kind of place where that little boy wouldn’t have to pause and then find a way to just keep going…

  24. Kyra says:

    Ahh, see, now I want to meet you (and bring you gifts of coke w/lime – there is a mountain of it out here, seriously. Maybe they took it away from you in particular?)

    As for those women in the store, they must be from here. I feel bad for the child who was subjected to that, but you know – I feel even worse for the mother. What do you tell your children when something like that happens? It’s horrifying.

  25. Bec says:

    The bravery of you and Karl doing this post is stunning. In the over emotional state I find myself in today in brought tears to my eyes.

    I believe the two skanks should be part of the baseball bat/slappng extravanza when you are recognise as ruler of the universe.

    And if the sun should shine tomorrow I believe I will do this post while sitting under a tree.

  26. Lewis says:

    You are just way too cool….what a post. What a beautiful, top-notch piece of writing. You have made clear what many of us who walk this planet believe. Hope you don’t mind if I extend this link to a few others. Cheers to you!

  27. Janet says:

    This was amazing. I may have to copy both you and Karl in the near future. How do you feel now that you beliefs are out there for every being [with internet] to see?

    I also second Lewis. Its your talented writing that keeps me coming back. You have quite a voice dude. I mean, NO ONE else that I can think of can write an entire post about toilette paper that is just as fun to read as Huckleberry Finn.

  28. Alissa says:

    Fantastic post! I feel like I’m slacking just a little bit by not posting mine yet, but like you, there are just so many things I do believe. I may have to do installments.

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us!

  29. RisibleGirl says:

    Wow- I really loved reading this.

    I’d write a post similar to this, but it would look like I’m copying you because your belief system is exactly like mine.

    Well, until you got to Depeche Mode. I’m afraid we’ll have to part ways from that point on. ;)

    PS- those redneck skanks? I want to pound them down to the ground. Reading that made me really, REALLY angry.

  30. I’ve always tried not to comment if someone else has already made my point but

    — that was really cool.

  31. Suzy says:

    I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t step up with the inappropriate comment right now.

    I used to house sit down in Malibu for way over the top Richie Richs, also friends of mine. They had a Spanish maid. I felt bad for the maid. I’ve been trying to learn Spanish for years so I gave her one of my Spanish books because it had all the English translations. She was grateful.

    I used to, when I house sat, drive her the 2 miles to the bus stop because she would WALK it to take the 2 hour bus ride back to east L.A. When my ‘friend’ Mrs. Rich asked me why I did that, I said, “You mean you don’t?” She didn’t.

    Last Christmas I bought two boxes of Ralph’s exquisite, seasonal pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. They are a RELIGION. I brought them to the Richs and told the maid that I bought them for us to share.

    The gardener gave her a ride that night and when I looked in the kitchen, she had taken ALL THE COOKIES. I just wish she had looked up the word share in the grammar book I gave her.

    I BELIEVE in those cookies. The end.

  32. Suzanne says:

    Like you, I believe tolerance and understanding are two of the most undervalued, um, values in today’s society.

    It continues to mystify and horrify me that so many people are so quick to want to impose their belief system on others, when they would chafe and complain if they were the subjugated rather than the subjugaters.

    So many people seem to require some set of absolutes to dictate who they’re supposed to be, what they’re allowed to do, how they’re supposed to act. They don’t want to think for themselves.

    If/when anyone questions the tenets of right vs. wrong they’ve so tenaciously clung to without question or thought, they’re threatened beyond belief.

    If I had a nickel for everytime I’ve heard someone say “Everyone is ___” or “Everybody does” as some sort of lame justification or excuse for stupid or disrespectful behavior, I’d easily be able to afford to retire to a private island of my very own.

    It’s not hypocritical to have some conflicting beliefs. It’s really difficult to tolerate intolerance. For me, at least.

  33. kapgar says:

    I always find it amazing how I can come out of a single Blogography post feeling emotionally moved and sad and riotously entertained all at the same time. And for this reason, I believe more people should read your site even if it does mean that you might have bandwidth issues.

  34. Dariush says:

    Dave,

    Your post is like a soothing salve on the constant rub of injustice that I have endured my entire life.

    It doesn’t happen so much on campus, but in other places it is as plain to see as the stars on a clear night. Racism, intolerance, etc. They’re all still there and a fire burns in my bones each time I cross paths with them.

    I wish more people thought and felt like you. Even if I don’t agree with some of your beliefs, I respect them, and I’m glad to know that you respect mine back. Based solely on that fact, I can easily say that you’re a good person.

    D

  35. ChillyWilly says:

    Agree with pretty much your entire blog entry. Considering myself agnostic, I share a large number of your baeliefs.

    I read this entry to my g/f (who, as I type this, is driving the car as we are heading down to the Grand Canyon for the weekend) and she gives you a big “YEAH!” for your post. Her favorite part was being ok for two atheists to marry (which is an excellent point of discussion for anyone that clings to the marriage/religion bond)

    And of course Depeche Mode is the best band ever… especially live (9 times now).

  36. Val says:

    Ok…I never comment but I must. I started reading blogography from a suggestion of Mocha Momma…intrigued even more because I was born and raised in Wenatchee (I escaped many years ago, but still visit from time to time.) I enjoy good writting and and been entertained by your wit. “I belive” is my all time favorite post….I mean it shows such strength and vulnerability and humor…and geeeeese what can I say…Keep up the good work.

    Val

  37. Jill says:

    A really wonderful post… Thank you for sharing :)

  38. Chag says:

    Man, you should’ve bitch-slapped those two girls. Wake them up.

    Amazing post!

    But really, NewsRadio was the greatest show to ever air on television.

  39. Iron Fist says:

    I believe that this post was incredible.

    I part ways with you on the Liz Hurley thing, although this is because I am madly in love with Salma Hayek and believe that she is the most beautiful woman on Earth. I also believe, though, that the world is big enough for the both us to be right.

  40. Fruitcake says:

    I guess it means I’m a longtime fan that I already knew all this about you. Because you THINK you don’t feel comfortable sharing your beliefs on your blog, but in reality you do it every day.

    Well, except for the penis salad day.

  41. Dave3 says:

    Here, here! I admire the courage it took to write this, and respect your beliefs.

  42. Laurence says:

    I believe I can fly… I believe I can touch the skyyyyyy !!!

    Seriously… You’re always right ! And sometimes it’s sad that other people don’t think like you !

    P.S. I believe I can meet you !!! ;-)

  43. Monique says:

    I saw Depeche Mode in the early 90s at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan. My seats were only a few rows from the top of the arena but the concert still kicked ass. Except when Dave Gahan ripped his shirt off. That was icky. “Violator” still is one of my favorite albums. And I gotta agree with you on Elizabeth Hurley. She’s my “I’d go to the other side for her” woman.

  44. D-Man says:

    When I say that about Elizabeth Hurley, people look at me funny. I think she’s gorgeous.

    Your blog entry was just what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  45. sandra says:

    Can I just say: “yes”?

  46. beautiful.

    except for the part about the skanks in the grocery. but then again, karma will catch up with them someday and they will wonder why whatever-it-is is happening to them.

  47. Lela says:

    I believe this was a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing that!

  48. tori says:

    Even though I have seen you all over my very favorite blogs, I have avoided clicking because I just don’t have time for another favorite person/blog. I am so glad I finally gave in and clicked to see what you are all about. Your I Believe was beautiful, and I think I may now be in love. Do you really scoop up bugs and move them outside instead of killing them? I do that, and have only ever met one other person who does. I completely agree with almost all of your thoughts, and am so happy to add you to my big long list of “daily reads” now.

  49. Dave2 says:

    As a matter of fact, I do scoop up bugs and take them outside whenever I can. Given the work it takes to accomplish that, it’s a pretty good feeling. Far better than the feeling of just having squished an innocent bug who was just minding his own business… albeit in the wrong place at the wrong time. :-)

  50. Catherine says:

    Wow. Thank you.

  51. Thanks for posting this, and although my comment is late, I wanted to say I agree with everything you said. I, myself, have been like that little boy, hearing people say such ignorant and hurtful things, simply because of my race (I’m biracial, though). Living here in North Texas, the city is sometimes multicultural, mind-opening, and interesting. At other times, racist, ignorant, intolerant . . .

    Education and experience seem to weed out prejudice, but I am worried about raising my child in an environment such as this. I can only hope those intolerant attitudes do not corrupt his innocence, and that I can teach him how to accept people’s differences and to avoid making snap judgments. It’s a daily struggle.

    R

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