I have a lack of belief and heros in my life.
I am agnostic, refusing to pledge allegiance to a God who is alternately merciful and cruel, or at best, indifferent.
I do not worship celebrities of any sort, for I cannot fathom how throwing a ball or saying scripted lines makes someone worthy of my high respect.
Politicians, too, fail to inspire me. As is commonly noted, those who are least worthy of leading often take (or, in some cases, steal) the scepter. The fact that a recent poll has identified George Bush as the most admired American merely shows that others have sadly mistaken Power for Heroism.
I believe in myself, and I believe in friends that inspire me. I know them, I trust them, I believe in what they do and who they are. Through little things and big things… it is both my friends’ goodness and intent that inspires, because I can see, know, and feel this in my heart.
Nonetheless, since I was little, I’ve craved for the Beliefs and Heroes I could neither justify nor connect with. While millions of others around me enjoyed happiness and strength from those they admired from afar, I had contrastingly only puzzlement and sometimes disdain.
How could one so admire a person who took more than they contributed? Someone showered with adulation and ‘respect’ and paid millions not due to their innate goodness or meaningful contributions to society, but rather for merely their empty words and movements and glances?
Years ago, as the Internet swelled, I optimistically assumed that great art, kind souls, and Truth would cut through the stale offerings of mass media and publishers and make itself known and loved throughout the world.
I was, clearly, naive and wrong. After 400 years in Internet time, Britney Spears and her clones still reign supreme. While true gems are there to appreciate on the Internet, they are for the most part still buried, unappreciated, often undiscovered.
And so today, even via the Internet, we still have fabricated and false Heroes rather than examples of people from whom we can universally and deeply admire. Where is Gandhi? Where is Florence Nightingale?
I want to believe in someone real. I know they’re out there, and I hear of the random heroic Jane Doe and John Smith every so often. This one started an organization for at-risk kids, this one donated a thousand books a year to a small library, and so on.
But I greedily want something more… someone innately good AND larger than life. A Hero, someone to worship and adore in conjunction with others. After all, there’s a strange but real safety and comfort being in sync with others’ beliefs… worshipping the same hero or Hero, nodding in silent understanding, not finding a more lonely path.
This, I’m sure, is why so many people believe in God.
If only I could. It would be so much easier, so comforting.
I want to Believe. But at the moment, I cannot.
I hope 2003 will be different.