Every year I ask my students to create a list of what they believe. (It is an idea generator assignment for future essay topics.) They are some of the most interesting writings of the year. Here is an example of my beliefs that I share with them.
I believe that there is a “right” song for every occasion and that music can change my mood when nothing else can. I believe that hugs and kisses make life bearable and that the whole world would be a nicer place if everyone got enough sleep!
I believe people don’t notice if I wash my hair every day—but they would notice if I didn’t. I believe that mascara and eyeliner are necessities. I believe that shaving my legs is seldom worth the effort, that high heels should be outlawed, and that a comfortable pair of shoes is worth whatever money you have to pay for them. I believe that men should spend as much time trying to look good as women do!
I believe that family, books, and music make a house a home. I believe that people who read are more intelligent than those who don’t, that Barnes and Noble is the best place to spend an afternoon, and that good books are worth reading again and again.
I believe people with bad attitudes are their own worst enemy, that 16 year olds are very interesting people, and that teaching is the most important job on earth—after parenting!
I believe that our media is frequently irresponsible, and this includes the commercials, shows, and broadcast news. I believe that people are basically good, but we have to work at staying that way, and I believe that if everyone practiced the golden rule-- this world would be a much better place.
I believe that my greatest accomplishment in this world will be what my students go on to achieve, but I believe my greatest legacy to this world is what my daughters do with their lives. I believe that in some way, we are all responsible for each other. I believe that everything happens for a reason…but sometimes it would be nice to know what that reason is! Above all, I believe what goes around, comes around!
I believe that there is no excuse for rude people, that old age is no excuse to be tactless, and that children can be taught to be sensitive to other people’s feelings. I believe words are more powerful than brute strength and leave far more lasting wounds. I believe that kindness is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. And I believe in 2nd chances!
I believe that books, movies, songs, or even commercials that give you a lump in your throat or make you cry are the work of gifted writers. I believe that most people don’t laugh or cry enough, and I believe that few people feel like they receive enough of the human touch. I believe a pat on the back or even a “thank you” can be the difference between hope and despair.
Finally, I believe in holidays that celebrate families and traditions, that God does answer prayers (just not always like we want Him to) and that each day and age of our lives is a gift.