My name is Jack Knill and this is what I believe.
I believe in lots of things; so I guess I’ll just start rattling-off some of them. I believe in nostalgia, family, tradition, and leisure. I suppose that one could call me an idealist because of my fondness toward nostalgia and all things related. I find serenity in these things. I’ve always looked back on the past with great admiration of how simple things were. I admire simple things: things like taking a morning walk or listening to an album on vinyl. They remind me of the way life was back in elementary school, worry free. Don’t we all wish that life could be as uncluttered and naïve as it was in the “good ol’ days”? I believe that one can look fondly upon years past at any age. I believe that there are few things on Earth more beautiful than a happy family. A family is essentially a group of great friends that love and support each other unconditionally until the end. The concept of childbirth amazes me in its simple grandeur. It is hard for me to fathom what it would be like to introduce a new soul to this big world and teach that little soul how to survive and eventually live a life of its own.
I believe in music. I think that music is the culmination of all forms of creativity. Music never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think that my ears have heard the most beautiful song ever composed, I discover a new album at the library. That album contains a song: a song that always seems to be infinitely more phenomenal than any song ever witnessed by me. The fact that this miracle can happen every week makes me believe that music is truly divine in nature. Music can make anyone smile no matter what language they speak.
It may seem odd to some of you, but skiing is inexplicably spiritual to me. To elaborate further I will read an excerpt from an article I wrote earlier this year. “The class laughed at me after I announced the apparently foolish fact that, for me, skiing is spiritual. I felt a tad bit rejected. I felt a need to prove to the class that skiing is, in fact, spiritual. Soon after, however, I realized that there is no way to prove the intrinsic spirituality of anything. Why do Catholics hold mass sacred? Why do Muslims pray multiple times a day? Nobody can scientifically prove why. I could compile an impressive number of interviews with dedicated skiers and present them to you, but that would be no more relevant than a flashlight in a fog cloud. So I write to you with no intention of convincing you of anything. I simply want to share my feelings on why I love skiing so darn much. Don’t laugh, yet. Please.
I love speeding down a snow-covered mountain with two planks of wood on my feet. That is fun to me. Many of my fellow students look at me when I am at school and assume that I am “out of it” or depressed. Frankly, it is difficult to look very enthused at school when I know how much more fun I would be having if I were on the snow, skiing. If those same students saw me while skiing, they would have trouble recognizing me since one thing I never ski without is a large smile on my face.
How can such a simple activity bring such an abundance of joy to me? It is probably because I love how skiing teeters on the line between fun and madness. It is rare for one to get such an opportunity anywhere else. It is exhilarating to know that my favorite pastime could potentially kill me. Is that dark? I suppose so. I find the stagnant and safe cycle of everyday existence much, much darker though. Skiing is spiritual to me because it is one of the things in this life that I live for. Skiing, in its simplest form, is one of the few things that I still see as real and raw in a big and complex world. Skiing is something that is unadulterated by the effects of society and perhaps even time. All of the said statements are obviously subjective, but I see them as miracles; miracles that lend to my faith in skiing as a spiritual entity.” (end quote)
The concept of God has had an evolving meaning throughout my life. I was born and baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. I was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic school from grades six through eight. I was truly a devout Catholic. I, then, arrived at Mullen High School where I was further educated upon Catholicism. One day during sophomore year I had an epitome and came to the conclusion that organized religion, as a concept, is a lie. I won’t elaborate upon my reasons for rejecting the Gospel and Jesus as anything beyond a great role model because I would rather not offend anyone here.
I’m not quite sure of what my spirituality is. I don’t think that I’ll truly know until I am older and wiser. I look forward to the day when I decide, with conviction, what my spirituality is. I will be able to live life according to my chosen spiritual path. I am still wandering around trying to find that spiritual path. I found atheism and that path suited me for a while. I became unsatisfied with that path. I continued to wander around until I eventually found agnosticism. That path also lost favor with me eventually. So, as I said, I am still rolling down the road of life, hoping to find my spirituality.
My charism is music. This applies to my practices because I play music on a daily basis in symphony class and at home. Playing music calms me and engages me; there is an odd dynamic. I like playing music because it is like a puzzle; put the pieces together correctly and a nice song is created. However, I do not know exactly why I enjoy listening to music. All I know is that I listen to music whenever I can and it never gets old. I am in the incarnational stream, so I am naturally drawn to teaching. Combine that with my love for music and one could infer that I want to be a music teacher. I believe that being a music teacher is my calling. I want to spread the joy that I feel when I play music to others. I also like working with children because they are so open to new ideas. They have very few set notions about simple matters so they are easy to teach. I believe that another purpose of mine during this life is to eventually have children and raise them to be awesome people.
I don’t know anything about death and I will not until I die. Therefore, I don’t base any of my actions on my beliefs about death. I believe that forgiveness is integral if one wishes to maintain relations with anyone since we are all human and humans have flaws. If one does not recognize the imperfections that they and their fellow man hold common then they will find themselves isolated and unhappy. I try to forgive people as quickly as I can. Love…love is the fabric of happiness. Love is what drives us to wake up every morning with drive and determination. We strive to be loved, just as we work to love others. We love each other and we love ourselves. I believe that love encompasses all that is good. Love is a concept far broader than the word’s common connotations of romance or friendship. I believe that love is the only thing that drives me to do good and just things.
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