To believe is to make a decision about something. It may not clearly be a black and white kind of situation. The process involves gathering information and experience, evaluating it, and coming up with a stance. It can be comforting to be around people who believe what we believe, but, in the end, we each have the choice to make. Right now we are feeling the strength of each other’s beliefs expressed in the angst of differing political views and even whether or not to take the long-awaited Covid vaccine. Our beliefs have consequences, and especially those beliefs that affect others need our closest scrutiny.
The power of belief can make things happen. When someone says, “I believe you,” to a victim of abuse, even years after the abuse occurred, healing finally can begin. Believing in another person’s sincerity in telling their side of a story can make it easier for that person to tell the truth. Although a mistaken belief can leave us feeling foolish or naïve, in the end, we have at least found the inner courage to stand for what seemed to make the most sense to us at the time.
The beautiful part of believing in another person is that this may lead to that person believing in himself or herself. “I believe in you.” Have you ever been told that by a parent, a coach, or even a boss? What about your partner or best friend?
Have you ever said those words to another person: a child, someone you had influence over, or even someone you disagreed with on issues? It is possible to believe in someone, even when you do not agree with their position.
In the end, one of the most important acts of belief is belief in oneself. This is strengthened each time we stretch ourselves to do the very thing we most fear we may not succeed at. It happens when we fall six times and get up seven times. It happens when we keep promises to ourselves and to others. Christopher Robin’s words begin to ring true: “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”