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This I believe, 2005

Inspired by This I believe by Robert A. Heinlein in 1952.

I am not going to talk about religious beliefs but about matters less obvious than it used to be in 20th century and more out of style to mention them. I still believe in my neighbors. I know their faults, and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults, just like the previous millennium.

Take Larry Wall down our hyperlink a piece. I'm not of his creed, but I know that goodness and charity and loving kindness shine in his daily actions. I believe in Larry Wall. If I'm in trouble, I'll go to him.

My next-door neighbor was a cardiovascular doctor who also served as a chairman of the board of a residential community where I lived. Doc will get out of bed after a hard day to help stray residents therein. No fee -- no prospect of a fee -- I believe in Doc.

I believe in my townspeople. You can knock on any mail address in our town saying, 'I need to talk,' and you will be listened. Our town is no exception. I've found the same ready charity everywhere. But for the one who says, 'Leave me alone -- mind your own business,' there are a hundred, a thousand who will say, 'Sure, pal, sit down.'

I know that despite all warnings against netsurfers I can step up to the information highway, thumb for a ride and in a few minutes a PC or PDA or Smart Phone will stop and someone will say, 'Climb in Mac -- where do you want to go today?'

I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime yet for every criminal there are 65,535 honest, decent, kindly people. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up. Business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news. It is buried in the obituaries, but is a force stronger than crime. I believe in the patient gallantry of patch submitters and the tedious sacrifices of pumpkings. I believe in the unseen and unending fight against desperate odds that goes on quietly in almost every home in the land.

I believe in the honest craft of workmen. Take a look around you. There never were enough bosses to check up on all that work. From the Gutenberg Bible to the World Wide Web, these things were built level and square by craftsmen who were honest in their bones.

I believe that almost all politicians (at large) are honest ... there are millions of politicians, low paid or not paid at all, doing their level best without thanks or glory to make our system work. If this were not true we would never have gotten out of the forest of Africa.

I believe in Giordano Bruno. You and I are free today because of endless unnamed heroes from Inquisition to the Cultural Revolution. I believe in -- I am proud to belong to -- the World of Free Expressions. Despite shortcomings from lynchings to bad faith in high places, our world has had the most decent and kindly internal practices and foreign policies to be found anywhere in history.

And finally, I believe in my whole race. Yellow, white, black, red, brown. In the honesty, courage, intelligence, durability, and goodness of the overwhelming majority of my sisters and brothers everywhere on this planet. I am proud to be a human being. I believe that we have come this far by the skin of our teeth. That we always make it just by the skin of our teeth, but that we will always make it. Survive. Endure. and Share. I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching, oversize brain case and the opposable thumb, this animal barely up from the apes will endure. and share with other races. Will not only endure longer than their home planet but also take the rest of the races beyond Earth -- will spread out to the stars and beyond, carrying with them their honesty and their insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage and his noble essential decency.

This I believe.

Dan the Believer


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