/ UChicago Essay - Power of Belief
Spanish poet Antonio Machado wrote, 'Between living and dreaming there is a third thing. Guess it.' Give us your guess.
POWER OF BELIEF
"Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible."
-T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)
Put yourself in the shoes of the typical average human being of today. He lives in a society where cut-throat competition is the order of the day. Simply put, it's a rat race out there and even the mice aren't far behind. In this race for survival, the existence of the average man is confined to doing just that - surviving. His life is like a boring black and white silent film on a perpetual "Repeat" mode, devoid of the sound and fury, the colour and vivacity that it should naturally have. It is as grey as the sidewalks he walks upon. In the midst of this humdrum existence, the average person often dreams. Leisure is a luxury that men nowadays can afford little of and much of a man's leisure hours are spent dreaming of living a better life. Now ask yourself a question: Can there be anything in between our existence and our dreams? I mean our lives and dreams must be two disparate entities. We often dream about correcting past mistakes and undoing previous failures, but in real life that's not possible. There can't be a connection between what we dream about and what we actually do. So that's it, right?
WRONG. The connection between our reveries and our present day lives lies in the belief that we have in our own abilities. In fact, belief actually defines what we are capable of. The difference between success and failure is more often than not the belief and will of a person to succeed and make dreams come true.
"Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact."
Why are we alive? Some might say to fulfill our destiny. But what is destiny? No one can say with certainty that doing something is preordained by Fate. So then what can we do? I believe that the only reason we can give to justify why we are alive is to make our dreams come true. And to do that we have to believe that we can. It's not worth living without a strong conviction that we can achieve what aim to achieve.
Belief is the touchstone of human endeavor. In my opinion, belief helps us transcend petty human boundaries and redefine what is possible. If the world believes that it can change, half our problems would be combated then and there. We need to set a goal for ourselves as individuals and as a society and work towards it, strong in our conviction of our ability to make the dream a reality. It's not impossible. If Erik Weihenmayer could climb Mt. Everest blind, if Lance Armstrong could battle testicular cancer and then win the Tour de France, if Mahatma Gandhi could convince an entire nation to throw off the shackles of enslavement and be free all by the strength of their belief in themselves and what they were doing, what prevents our modern society from emulating them? We dream of a better tomorrow. To make it a reality we must believe that it is possible and that we are the ones who can make it happen. Only then will our efforts bear fruit. So let us all acknowledge the power of belief, for if we truly believe, we will someday live the dream.