Deep down we all want something to believe in. The only way to know that our beliefs are not foolish is to question them. Take the Tooth Fairy or Santa Clause. Parents go to great lengths to keep these beliefs alive. I grew up thinking my Tooth Fairy was a world traveler because of the foreign currency left under my pillow. In reality, French francs, Mexican pesos, and English pounds were gifted from neighbors to keep up the charade of the Tooth Fairy. Kid’s behavior improves with the reminder that Santa is watching. Hope of money or gifts keeps kids believing until they can no longer reason their way around the truth. Eventually, we outgrow these childhood beliefs and replace them with other kinds of hope.
We listen to the promises of partners, politicians, or religions, sometimes to a fault. The hope they offer seems within reach, so it becomes easy to believe in what we want to hear. The danger is in not looking at the big picture. What’s a good idea today may not be ten years from now. Beliefs motivate, shape and inspire what we assign value to and hold true. As people and their perspectives change and mature, we feel compelled to question the sense of it all. Sometimes it’s better to let go of old beliefs than to hold onto them. There can and should exist a balance between old beliefs or values and current truths.
Just as children outgrow what they choose to believe, so must adults. Adults should not lose the ability to discern what hope to believe in or which truth to value. Times change and with them opinions, beliefs, values, and truths. Question what you believe and why. Is it still as important now as it was then?