This I Believe

My head is buzzing.

This morning, a propos of nothing, I received in the post a book from a friend. That book is This I Believe. It is a collection of short essays by various people. Sportsmen and writers. Nobel laureates and housewives. Essays on what they believe. Their life philosophies and guiding principles.

I read it cover-to-cover in one sitting. I have only ever done that with one other book, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. Immediately after finishing that book, I wrote the date and address where I read it inside the front cover; I wanted to keep it and know where I was. It’s fair to say that This I Believe has had a similar effect on me.

Never have I been brought to tears so many times by a book. Granted the stories are short, and likely to be powerful and poignant. But reading that much thought about the human condition, what it means to be alive, what happens when we die, or the virtues of feeding monkeys on ones birthday, made me think about the various things that I have thought about doing with my brief second on this rock.

I have tried starting many blogs. (This is about my fifth, I think.) I spent two years at a music academy fostering dreams of musical fame and fortune. I then worked as a wage slave for eighteen months. That time inspired me to go to university, where I studied war for three years. Having recently graduated, and preparing for a post-graduate research degree, beginning in January of next year, I have a few months in which I plan to grow.

This blog is safe, it will continue to grow. But reading that book, along with a conversation I recently had with my parents, has made me think about my own life philosophy. This post will be too long to be considered for the ever-expanding collection of ‘This I Believe’ essays, but perhaps I will one day write my thoughts down, succinctly and thoroughly.

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