Believing in Belief

Every holiday season, the “b” word starts to form on a lot of people’s lips.

No, not that “b” word. (Although I am sure you could find some use for other “b” words in your vocabulary.) I’m talking about the other “b” word. As in, “believe.”

Suddenly, around this time of year, we are asked to believe in miracles, in Santa, in people. The holidays seem to be formed around belief.

But what about believing the rest of the year? Does belief take its own holiday? (Looking at religious institutions, I am sure that many religious leaders will tell you that it does.)

But why? Why do we only emphasize belief once a year?

Well, I say we should do something about it. We should start inviting belief in out of the cold before the holidays. We need to start believing in belief all year round.

Because belief changes everything. When you believe in yourself, you own the room. When you believe in a higher power, you feel secure and loved. When you believe that people are terrible and capable of nothing, well, you know what to expect when bad things happen, now don’t you? Belief will keep you young at heart, no matter how old you get.

And belief costs nothing. It does not expire. And just because someone may have a different belief than you does not mean that yours will be lessened.

Of course, I understand why people don’t. Belief in anything, not just religious faith, makes us vulnerable. It suggests that we have a weakness. It gives our enemies the rope to make a noose. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we allowed ourselves to have beliefs, then we could then tolerate them in others.

So, this holiday season you should give more. You should smile more. And of course, you should believe more. But after the holidays are done, you should keep belief around. For those resolutions that you rarely, ah, resolve and beyond. Make belief as real a part of your life as the stress is, and you will be able to balance it all out. Believe me.

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