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OrdinaryTimes 1.31-BeLief

I’m never happier than when I’m under the thrall of one of my many firmly-held beliefs. The ennobling effect works whether the belief supports an absolute truth or absurd falsehood. Anyone can logically dismantle anyone else’s belief without noticing that the purpose of holding the belief never was to support any volume of truth behind it, but the ‘lief’ it encourages; that starry-eyed conviction, that unshakeable dedication, that otherwise unsupportable optimism renders criticism moot. Belief requires no proof.

I cannot force anyone to believe anything. No matter how powerful my own belief, I cannot coerce you into sharing it. I know, you can pretend, but later, your skepticism will shine through your gauzy cover story; your lief will prove unsustainable.

What does it take for me to believe? Not much. I acknowledge that I mostly believe what I need to believe. My psyche looks like a pile of pick-up sticks, with twigs supporting odd-angled twigs, little logical design supporting anything. I hold no special charter on anyone’s truth, including my own.

I choose to believe that this fundamental distinction keeps me safe. I try not to mistake my satisfying firm beliefs for truths, and I feel sad when others seem to mistake their beliefs for truths. No, this conviction does not render me cynical, only mindful, reflective.

I believe I’m better off when I’m believing in something; anything. The alternatives hollow me out. I try not to evangelize. My salvation isn’t anybody else’s. Believe whatever you choose, or whatever seems to choose you. Some God’ll probably bless you for it.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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