“An unexamined faith is not worth having” – Elton Trueblood
With the advent of baseball season upon us, I am reminded of two well-known scenes in the popular baseball movie, “Bull Durham.” You know, the one where Annie Savoy admits her belief in the “Church of Baseball” and the one where Crash Davis professes his belief in the hanging curve ball, as well as good scotch, opening presents on Christmas morning, and a number of romantically erotic sexual acts.
I find the introspectively authentic nature of Annie and Crash’s declarations to be inspiringly ideal examples of a faith filled with personal loyalty and sincerity. Sadly, unlike Annie and Crash, many of us approach our own personal credos with an unexamined, uninspired, and lackluster faithlessness that masquerades under the guise “faith” or “belief.”
Life is busy, messy, confusing, inconsistent, and unpredictable – filled monotonous daily activities, minor calamities, and seemingly unremarkable pleasures – which makes it all the more liberating and cathartic to develop a personal credo to guide us and keep us on course. It is not enough to follow the beliefs dictated to us by society, our parents, teachers, friends, ministers, and political leaders. We must develop our own authentic personal doctrines based on our life experiences, personal beliefs, and priorities. After all, “an unexamined faith is not worth having.”
So in the spirit of Annie and Crash, below are some of the things that I believe; do you know what you believe?
Like Crash Davis, I do not believe in quantum physics when it comes to matters of the heart.
I believe in the healing power of cookie dough and a good long nap, preferably with the former followed by the latter.
I believe in reincarnation.
I believe that it is much easier to forgive than forget, but that true forgiveness requires that we force ourselves to forget – or at least forget the hurt.
I believe that food and drinks consumed on birthdays are calorie-free. The same is true for spoonfuls of cookie dough and leftover food eaten from my kids’ unfinished dinner plates.
I believe in a god that connects us all by strings of human kindness, love, and compassion, and not by rules and doctrine.
I believe that dogs read our minds, not just our body language.
I believe that sometimes doing the right thing is just not enough; we must take a more affirmative stand by not only pointing out where our society has gone wrong, but by holding ourselves and others accountable for our errors and missteps.
I believe that there should be a Constitutional amendment outlawing reality TV.
I believe that we should never let a positive thought or emotion go unshared, no matter how difficult it is to express it or how scared we are about how that expression will be received.
I believe that empathy is the most underrated and underused human emotion.
I believe in cheap wine, good shoes, loud music, laughing until you cry, crying until you laugh, and wearing yoga pants regardless of whether one actually practices yoga.