I Believe …
by Stephen Doherty
January 1st, 2023
“Faith consists in believing when it is
beyond the power of reason to believe.” -Voltaire
I enter 2023 with the beautiful and encouraging words of my favorite Christmas movie, the Polar Express. The movie uses a beautiful bell from Santa’s sleigh as the metaphor for “believing” in Santa Claus, which is merely an embrace of the true spirit of Christmas – love, spiritual generosity, and the celebration of family.
Santa Claus is the prism through which we learn these values as kids and then remains the symbol of these values through our adult years. “I believe” is the clubhouse password that forever memorializes the Christmas magic of our childhoods.
Being able to hear the Christmas bells sweet sound throughout the years is the ultimate rejection of all the jaded doubt and skepticism that normally accompanies adulthood. The sound of the bell forever connects us to that magical holiday spirit.
As I was mulling over the power and importance of this simple phrase, “I Believe …” I was suddenly reminded of several other truisms worthy of that same powerful prelude. In no particular order, these are the similar axioms that sustain and drive my life through any given year.
I Believe … that the gift of parenthood is our highest calling and gives us the ability to leave an incredible and indelible signature on the world we leave behind.
I Believe … that drawing your first breath in the United States of America, is tantamount to winning the lottery. I wish more people valued and appreciated the priceless significance of their American passport.
I Believe … that the American dream is still within the grasp of those with the discipline, determination, and commitment to pursue their dreams. The evidence is overwhelmingly in the affirmative.
I Believe … that – with few exceptions, our lives our little more than the sum total of our decisions and choices. Character emerges from owning those choices and decisions – not forever lamenting them.
I Believe … that good health, faithful friends and a loving family are a better metric of net worth than dollars and cents.
I Believe … that Aristotle was right when he said, “We are what we repeatedly do…excellence, therefore, isn’t an act, but a habit.” Good HABITS are the key to success.
I Believe … that kindness is our ultimate strength, and that compassion and empathy can often be too elusive and circumstantial. We should strive to be better.
I Believe … that I live in the greatest nation ever conceived by mankind and that our best days our yet ahead of us. Absent America, this planet would have long ago descended into darkness.
I Believe … that there is a Heavenly Father. The beauties and miracles of life are too spectacular to have been random. Something doesn’t spring from nothing – absent a Creator.
I Believe … that humility and vulnerability are the superpowers that we should all aspire to. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Brene’ Brown.
I Believe … that long walks and the company of dogs is far more therapeutic and healing than an endless array pf pharmaceuticals.
The things we believe are the things that matter to us individually. The framework of values woven from these beliefs – underscores our purpose for being. The reason I believe so fervently in the power of the little boy on the Polar Express holding the “I Believe” ticket in his hand, is that absent something to believe in and hold onto – absent purpose – a diminished life can and will slip through our fingers.
As long as we believe enthusiastically in the things that matter to US – life will matter and be worth living like there was no tomorrow. Happy New Year to my friends and family. I believe in you – and you matter more to me than words can ever describe. Onward and upward in 2023! BELIEVE!
“You have to believe in yourself!” -Sun Tzu