Friday, June 26, 2015

What I believe

After the shooting last week in Charleston, I heard that the perpetrator had written a manifesto, outlining his hatred towards his victims. I have not read this, but it seems that it is similar to other manifestos written by other murderers on other occasions. And I felt motivated to write what I believe, to counter the negativity of that tragic event. Today, after seeing the Supreme Court's decision (a much different and far more positive event), I also felt that my thoughts were relevant to that. So here is a list of the basic beliefs that guide my life.

I believe in God. I believe He is our loving Heavenly Father and that He truly cares about what happens to us. He sent Jesus Christ to be our Savior. I choose to worship God as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most everything else I believe is rooted in this.

I believe in love, all kinds of love: for family, friends, and our fellow humans in general. If we love one another, we should act accordingly. I believe in treating others with kindness, dignity, compassion, and respect. I believe in building loving relationships with those around us.

I believe in equality, regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation, ability, race, ethnicity, nationality, marital status, income, height, weight, eye color, hairstyle, favorite food or anything else. People are people and should be treated with love and dignity.
I believe in happiness. Everyone has a right to search for happiness. I believe in finding happiness through my life choices and allowing others to do the same. I believe in finding joy in the small moments: fuzzy kittens, cute puppies, beautiful mountains, energetic children, sunsets, rivers, good books, fun movies, kind letters, sweet smiles, bubbling fountains, warm sunshine, cool breezes, delicious food, delighted laughter, deep friendships and happy memories.
I believe in life. I oppose both abortion (as in, I would not make that choice for myself) and the death penalty. I also oppose murder and violence of any sort. I believe that loss of life is a tragedy wherever it occurs.
I believe in hope, in moving forward with confidence in the future.
I believe in learning: reading, writing, communicating, sharing ideas, listening with an open mind, and traveling to new places.
I believe in freedom of choice. I may believe that people would be happier if they made different choices, but I don't believe in forcing them to do so. I share my beliefs, and if my friends choose to share my beliefs, I am happy, but I want to live and let live.