What I believeIn the spirit of the last entry and of the NPR This I Believe series, here are some beliefs of my own. Some have been posted here before and some are new.
I believe that being humane is more important than being smart.
I believe ethics are a way of life. Either you believe in them or you don’t.
I believe the celebrity culture is not worth anyone’s attention.
I believe in respecting others. Not necessarily agreeing with every life choice they make but respecting who they are.
I believe that politeness is a greatly undervalued in the modern world.
I believe that you are irrelevant except to the extent that you affect other people and other living creatures.
I believe bars are a terrible place to meet people.
I believe narrow-mindedness, snobbery and pomposity are three different versions of the same thing.
I believe Jerry Springer, professional wrestling and most political yap shows are three different versions of the same thing.
I believe that religion is neither inherently good nor evil. Both Osama bin Laden and Martin Luther King Jr. were driven by their religious beliefs.
I believe that if your deity tells you to commit violence against innocent people, you need to shop around for a new deity.
I believe that if the leader of your country tells you to commit violence against innocent people, you need to shop around for a new leader.
I believe that PBS history documentaries are ten times better than History Channel documentaries.
I believe that while small towns have their flaws, they have many redeeming values even for open-minded, culturally inclined people.
I believe that America is not the only country in the world and that Americans are not the only people in the world. I believe that too few Americans appreciate this. And sometimes people in the rest of the world forget that too.
I believe that money is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
I believe that if you define yourself by your job, then you'd better have a meaningful job.
I believe that a life without a dream is not a life.
I believe there’s too little idealism in the world.
I believe that how you think is far more important than what you think.
I believe that your course in life is usually determined by whether you are a fundamentally positive or fundamentally negative person.
I believe that you can learn so much about people and the world by simply closing your mouth and paying attention, really paying attention. If when people aren't talking to you.
I believe that helping others is its own reward.
I believe that children are more interesting than adults. I also believe they are easier to deal with than adults because, for better or worse, they are more straight-forward.
I believe that people who never have doubts are very dangerous.
I believe that people with no sense of humor are very dangerous.
I believe that just because you like to be alone at times doesn’t mean you’re lonely or a loner.
I believe that being alone with your thoughts is important every once in a while.
I believe that sunsets are God’s way of saying, “Take ten minutes to slow down and relax.”
I believe burning leaves is the most evocative smell.
I believe that autumn is the best season.
I believe everyone should try to learn at least one foreign language.
I believe everyone should live in another country at some point, if only for a few months.
I believe everyone should work at least one job in the service industry. It might make them less of a jerk when dealing with underpaid food service, supermarket, department store or amusement park workers.
I believe you should actively seek opinions, perspectives and points of view that are different from your own. I believe that everyone should occasionally read newspapers or consume other news sources from countries other than their own.
I believe America the Beautiful should be this country's national anthem. I believe we ought to do more to heed its lines, "God mend thine ev'ry flaw; Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!"
I believe that patriotism must manifest itself in concrete actions, not merely in cheap politicized slogans.
I believe that it's better to be slightly disappointed at someone for not fulfilling high expectations than satisfied that they fulfilled low ones.
I believe citizens expect too little of politicians and even less of ourselves.
I believe that a sense of place is important. Every place should not look and feel like every place else.
I believe every once in a great while, you should do something totally out of character. You might learn something about yourself.