Editorials by Robert Kirwan
Would Rather Live My Life Believing…
Have you ever been involved in an argument or debate with someone
and just couldn’t find the right words to back up your position? Of
course you have. There are some things in this world that are very hard to
explain, and when you are confronted by another person who doesn’t
accept your belief, it is sometimes impossible to find convincing points
that will change his mind. Worse, when you have trouble convincing others
of your beliefs, you sometimes begin to doubt yourself.
Think back to days when
we were much younger than we are now.
The tough questions we faced consisted of, “How do you know there
is a Santa Claus? How do you know the Easter Bunny exists? How do you know
there is a tooth fairy?” We all hung on to those beliefs as long as we
could, but in doing so, it often became necessary to argue with others who
As we got a bit older,
we found ourselves faced with questions like, “How will I know I when I
find the right person to marry? How
do I know that there is such a thing as true everlasting love?”
you find out that there is no Santa Claus; there is no Easter Bunny; there
is no tooth fairy; you see many marriages, and sometimes your own, end up
in divorce; and often the people you love end up hurting you very deeply.
Most of what you firmly believed as truth turns out to be false. You may
even develop a tendency to become skeptical about everything and wonder if
anything you believe in makes sense.
Without a doubt,
one of the most difficult questions that we must deal with as human beings
is, “How do we really know that there is life after death?” In other
words, how can you be so certain that when you die there is “an after
life” – another existence that we call heaven.
This is a question that
we struggle with all of our life. To believe in life after death is
something that requires a tremendous amount of faith because it is
something for which we have no concrete evidence as proof. Nevertheless,
the other day I came across one simple little sentence that I wish I would
have discovered years ago. One simple little sentence that must have been
said by a person who was having a discussion with a “non-believer” who
just wouldn’t accept any of the arguments being put forward. One simple
little sentence that must have ended that conversation very quickly.
The sentence: “I
would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there
isn’t, than to live my life as if there isn’t, and die to find out
What a profound
philosophical statement! Imagine if we applied that very same philosophy
to other areas of our life.
When I was arguing with
my friends about whether or not there was a Santa Claus, I wish I would
have said, “I would rather continue to believe in Santa Claus and get
gifts from him every Christmas, than not believe in Santa Claus and stop
getting gifts.” (by the way, I still get gifts every Christmas from
Santa Claus, so I will never stop believing)
When I was arguing with
my friends about whether or not there was an Easter Bunny, I wish I would
have said, “I would rather continue to believe in the Easter Bunny and
find chocolate candy and treats on Easter morning than not believe in the
Easter Bunny and stop getting those Easter morning goodies”.
And so, now that I am
older, and much wiser, “I would rather live my life as if everyone I
meet wants to become my friend, and find out that they don’t, than live
my life as if everyone I meet doesn’t want to become my friend, and find
out that they did.”
“I would rather live
my life as if the people I love, love me as much as I love them, and find
out that they don’t, than live my life as if the people I love don’t
love me, and find out that they did.”
Finally, “I would
rather live my life thinking that all people I meet are genuinely good,
and find out that they aren’t, than live my life thinking that all
people I meet are bad, and find out that they were good.”
Who says your
personal philosophy of life has to be complicated?
Have a good week!