We know that a year is 365 days, give or take a few hours, and that the earth is 92,955,887 miles away from the sun, give or take a few feet. We know that time is relative and that distance is the space between two points. More than anything we know that if something is done well and, even more importantly, done with gusto and passion and certainty, it can know nothing but success. Because if you’re in the right, you cannot be wrong. Because MLK had a dream and it came true, because Walt wished upon a star and wound up a millionaire, because sometimes the accepted things are the most corrupt and the good we see is often tainted with evil. If you believe something—dream it, believe it, live it, invest everything in it in every possible way, it cannot fail. Unwavering faith grants a magical sort of immunity. Ask any saint or activist or freedom fighter. Success is not a place or an item; it is a state of mind. Find it and keep it; never let it slip away. Believing and doing is all you need to shake the world.
This is essay is an argument. Persuasion, if you will. These words prove my purpose, prove or disprove. Am I changing the world? I believe in believing. I believe it and I am telling the world. Believe, all! Believe in something! This is how it starts. I just got to get it rolling. It’s a tiny thing now. A dainty snowflake that drifted oh-so-daintily into my head and now I’m to roll it into a snowball. I’m to crush the world with my belief in believing. Believing what? Well, it simply doesn’t matter. It’s the thought of it, the act of it. It’s being something different in a world that teaches you to be the same. It’s o-r-i-g-i-n-a-l-i-t-y. It’s called being unique. Certainly no one else has considered faith as a viable lifestyle option?
I believe in things all the time. I believe that the sun will set today and that putting one foot in front of the other will get you somewhere eventually. I believe that perfection is subjective and that censorship is wrong. I wrote about censorship once. It was in eleventh grade AP English Composition. My argument was masterful. I used logos, ethos, and pathos. I used rhetorical strategies and a dazzling inductive structure. On my paper my teacher had scribbled Good! and Wow! and Excellent Evidence! Sophisticated! Nice use of Parallelism! and Great Conclusion! Believing and doing, I thought, that’s how it’s done.
Then I saw my grade. It was a B.
In the top corner of the paper she had written: “Cursory treatment of counterargument.”
Well it looks like there’s a hang-up in our case, folks. The counterargument for this essay is counterargument. You have to believe something with all your might, except those times when you don’t! Sometimes you have to shift into reverse and just slam on the gas. Why? Oh, well there are thousands of reasons. It shows that you believe so darn much that you’re willing to take a glance at another point of view.
But I’m right and you’re wrong and end of story no compromises shut up no one cares.
That’s what believing is, yessiree.
Believing and doing without looking both ways before you cross the street. Doesn’t matter much what anyone else is saying or doing. Why, if they can’t go along with you, to hell with everything! The only thing compromise ever got this country was democracy. And look at us now!
I absolutely, undeniably, irrefutably know that I am right in this. And I will not change my mind or take a glance into yours until the day I die.
One more thing I know: satire works best when you don’t take it seriously.