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What I Believe

I was standing outside on Hollywood Boulevard at L. Ron Hubbard’s Winter Wonderland – a charming outdoor site in
the middle of Hollywood that’s dedicated to Hubbard’s legacy of humanitarian activities and the seasonal Spirit of
Giving, and which features a wide variety of music every December in the holiday season, a 60-foot tall Christmas tree,
and a Santa’s house where Santa sits out on his porch to greet tens of thousands of visitors each year.  

There are always plenty of families lined up to talk to Santa – but we are out on the Boulevard and most anything that
can happen will happen.  Several of our local Know-it-Alls come marching by with signs that read “Scientologists Don’t
Believe in God,” and various other derogatory slogans of the type that other religions, minorities, and even celebrities
have had to deal with over the years.

I have to say, first of all that I found it kind of ridiculous. I am a Scientologist, and I believe in God, so right away they’re
off to a somewhat erroneous assumption. Just for the record, Scientology acknowledges the existence of the Supreme
Being, but does not dictate what each person should think about God – that’s his own business.

As a matter of fact, in Scientology, one is not told to believe anything which he personally finds is not true. I bet some of
you didn’t know that.

Imagine that – a religious doctrine that doesn’t tell the parishioner what is or isn’t true. Well…in the spirit of the holiday
season, I thought I’d stick my neck out and tell one and all what is true and not true, for me. This is what I believe:
       Firstly, my own concept of God is such that I believe that a religion can contain errors, but God cannot.
    However, I respect all religions and I believe that no religion or any other group or individual has the right to
    invalidate other religions or people by saying “I/We are the only way to God.”

       I also find that as soon as one begins to refer to God as “he,” one is departing from the ultimate truth, since by
    my own observation, I see that God is the composite of all parts of life, and resides in all parts of life, and is
    therefore both he, she and it, and all the variations that one can possibly imagine.

       But I won’t get any further into that way-up-there stuff, because I want to tell you what I believe that affects all of
    us on a daily basis.

       I believe in Good News. I believe that people should use their communicative abilities to spread Good News
    about the constructive, productive and beautiful things in life and to stop wasting their time and energy on
    degraded humor, or getting into long drawn out discussions of tragedy or heated political debates.

       I believe that if people want to elect leaders they can trust, they should give the candidates tasks to do like “The
    Ten Labors of Hercules.”

       They should ignore campaign promises and talk of how the other candidates are no good, etc, - and simply say:
    “all you candidates have x amount of dollars to work with, and an empty lot. The one who builds the highest quality
    house within budget by the deadline date earns the right to take office. In case of a tie, there will be a ‘bake-off.’”

       You see, I believe that government today runs on “hot air” and not on demonstrated ability. As far as I’m
    concerned, government should be run like any other business – either give the public a product / service that they
    are willing to pay for, or go out of business and be replaced by a better administration.

       That, of course means no taxation, ever – they’d only be able to raise funds for things that people would
    willingly pay for, like well-paved roads, beautifully maintained forest areas, richly stocked libraries, schools that
    actually and exclusively educate, and so on.

       I also have some additional simpler beliefs, which I consider are the most powerful of all and closest to pure

       I believe in the power of music. And I believe that there are many musical artists out there who have abused that
    power. I believe that justice must be done in this area, and music returned to responsible use – for the praise and
    enhancement of life.

       I believe in magic, a very close-to-home kind of magic, the kind sung about by John Sebastian: “Do you believe
    in magic, in a young girl’s heart, how the music can free her whenever it starts…”

       This, for me is the most powerful kind of magic and greatest power of all: the magic of a kind word, a smile, a
    helpful action when someone really needs it. There are people who go out of their way to make life better and
    brighter for all those around them, and these people are wizards.

       This year I had the opportunity to go back down to the street level from which I came when a boy in the Bronx,
    NY. I had my driver’s license suspended due to an old unpaid ticket, and spent months on the public transit system
    in Los Angeles.

       I have to say, that although there was the occasional troublemaker, I met more wonderful people on the LA
    Metro system than I would ever have come to meet sitting in my car on a congested freeway.

       All day long I’d hear “thank you, driver,” and observe as people offered seats to the elderly, or helped one
    another with directions or information. And there were some very special events:

       First off, there’s the bus driver on the late night bus up my hill, a guy who I’ll call “Lucky Lou” or “Louie the Lip.”
    Lou came out to LA many decades ago from Brooklyn, set out to get himself some sort of high-tech job, and took
    the bus driver gig to sort of keep the bills paid temporarily.

       He enjoyed the job so much that he’s still at it. He never stops gabbing with the passengers, hence “Louie the
    Lip.” And by the way, he never misses anything that goes on out on the road either – he’s an excellent driver.

       Lou has a great time on his bus! Most of the passengers know him like family, and he calls the late night bus
    “the Party Bus.” So here I come with guitar and portable piano in hand and before you know it, I’m livening up the
    party every Wednesday night with tunes from the fifties and sixties that everyone knows and can sing along with.

       To me, this is the magic I believe in – bringing the power of music into a setting where it might not normally
    occur, and enriching peoples’ lives. I have no problem with being on the cover of People magazine if it comes to
    that; but I guarantee that the pleasure of sparking the joy of my neighbors on the Party Bus is at least one hundred
    times greater an achievement.

       One final story here of the magic in which I believe: I was going down to Hollywood to accept an award for
    volunteer work, and walked about a half mile down to a specific bus stop that would take me to the Metro Gold
    Line train in Pasadena.

       The bus came around the corner, and the lady driver opened the doors and leaned out, saying “I have to go out
    of service… you see the front door is jamming and I can’t have passengers possibly hurting themselves there.”

       I must have looked really dejected as I said “you mean I’ll have to wait another half-hour for the next bus? I’ll be
    late for an event where I’m getting an award for volunteer work.”

       She thought it over and said “I’m not supposed to do this, but I’ll take you just down to the Metro station if you
    watch the bus for me while I go to the restroom – I’ve been in the seat for four hours and haven’t had a chance to
    go. If the Supervisor comes, just tell him ‘that’s the way it goes.’”

       And so we two, who had been strangers just minutes before, became friends by helping each other. And this
    type of event goes on every single day in every single city and town around the world. People are wonderful, and
    they’re very good to each other. Yet, how often do we read this in headlines?

       I also happen to believe that selling bad news, and gossip about public figures all day long all around the world
    is a criminal act, and should be treated as such.

       It takes courage to stand up to criminal acts. But it can all be
    summed up in a single word: “No.” Just like saying “no” to drugs,
    one and all can learn to say “no” to bad news and the taxation of
    criminal “government.” And with courage, kind-heartedness and
    common sense, we all can be free.   

    That’s what I believe. Happy Holidays!

    Love, Tom Fair

    © 15 Dec 2008
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"What I Believe"
By Tom Fair
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