Every year around this time, we run across reminders to “believe.” But in each instance, the message is incomplete — never really telling us what to believe. Here, over the course of 500 words, I hope to share a few personal suggestions.
First of all, I still believe in God — regardless of how cool, or uncool, this might seem. The reality is, He is there and if you don’t believe me, I’d invite you for a test drive without Him. Traveling without this copilot can be unnerving. Over my lifetime I’ve done it both ways. Having Him along for the ride has made the difference of night and day.
Secondly, I still believe in the spirit of Santa Claus. How can you not believe in the power of thinking of others and giving the gift of time, love, or small expressions of your gratitude to those we hold most dear? Also, Santa is one sharp dresser.
Next, I’d have to say I still hold great faith in my fellow mankind. At times, most of us will find ourselves questioning what the future holds. But if we’re honest, we’ve got a pretty good track record of doing the right thing when it comes down to it. I’ve seen this too many times to deny that most people are, by default, good and decent. And I intend to continue to invest my energy and strength in supporting them.
The American Dream, bashed, battered, and run over in the public court of opinion, is still the best thing going on the planet Earth. If you’ve ever really traveled outside these borders and touched, tasted and experienced the other side, you know what a blessing it is to live in this country. Doubt it? Ask around. I’ve spent more than my fair share with people who want nothing more than to call America their home for the simple reason of having an opportunity to break free of the shackles of economic, political or religious restraint.
I also still believe in America. Remember, this is the country that put a man on the moon, invented instant coffee, and where individuals contribute to charity more per capita as a measure of gross domestic product than any other nation on the planet. Not only are we a resourceful and innovative nation, but we’re also generous to others via giving beyond anything the world has ever seen. I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind being associated with smart, generous people.
And finally, I believe in you. Granted, many of us have never met, but odds are we have more in common than separates us. If I’ve learned anything in my continuing accumulation of years, it is most of us value our families, friends, and neighbors. We even value strangers we’ve never met before — lending a hand or other resources to help someone in need. Politics, politics — in the end, most of us are pretty much alike. Away from needless divisiveness, we are all pretty much alike.
So, next time you see a sign encouraging you to believe, look inside of yourself for the answer.