You Are Going to Die for What You Believe In
You must believe in something.
A 19-year-old girl stands tied to a stake in the midst of a mob. She keeps her head high, looking directly in the face of each one of her captors. A man of authority, a judge, speaks up.
She was to be burnt alive.
The mob moves to light the firewood at her feet. They laugh as they light the wood and see her wince at the increasing heat. The judge yells over the flames:
“You may regain your liberty if you recant what you said!”
With the fire growing larger and closer, Joan of Arc looked at the judge and said:
“Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and so they give their lives to little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it… and then it’s gone.
But to surrender who you are and to live without belief is more terrible than dying — even more terrible than dying young.”
Joan of Arc calls to each one of us, reminding us that our actions show what we truly believe in. Death comes nearer still and we must decide what we want to do with our lives. Most of us won’t have to face our own mortality at the hands of a firey mob, but we will face it in some way.
Believe In Something Great
You have but one life to live, why not make it something amazing? What’s stopping you from being a great writer? Or a great musician?
It’s all about what you believe in.
There was once a talented violinist who played for thousands of people in Carnegie Hall. The audience was in awe at the beautiful skill of this musician. She seemed to be able to control the room’s emotions with each note.
One older woman approached the violinist after the concert. This woman had tears in her eyes and compliments spewing out of her mouth. The violinist smiled and thanked her. As the violinist moved to walk away, she heard the older woman turn to her friend and say:
“I would give my life to play like that.”
The violinist looked back and replied:
You can be that violinist if you choose. You just have to choose now before it is too late.
Believe in something. Believe you can become the next great writer. Believe you can help solve world hunger. Believe you can be the next president of the United States. Don’t let cynism stop you from having seemingly unrealistic dreams. Life is more fun if you are pushing yourself.
Enjoy the Search
You may be reading this article thinking “But Austin, that sounds all cool and motivational, but I don’t know what I believe in.”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! That just means you are in an amazing position of opportunity! You get to be passionate about searching for what you believe in!
Do not apologize because you haven’t found what you want to be when you grow up, even if you have grown up!
The search can be the fun part. You are at the beginning! Tomorrow you could try something out and find your calling.
Passion Makes You Resilient
We cannot survive in this hostile world without meaning. We have to believe in something or we’ll have no reason to get out of bed.
I’ve never understood the belief in nihilism. Why not believe in something greater than yourself? What’s the point in believing in nothing? And if you believe that once you die, nothing happens, why not make the best of where you are at now? Life’s meaning comes from what we put into it.
The Passion of Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc said that living without belief was worse than dying young. Her statement carries immense weight because she was in the literal process of dying young when she spoke. She refused to give up on what she believed in and she paid with her life.
You will pay for what you believe in with your life.
The clock is ticking and the fire is lit.
I say this not to cause panic, but to wake up those who may be sleeping; Those who may be allowing themselves to wander through life without goal or purpose.
Find your passion then give your life to it.