Jiratha Thiradanon：泰国Thonburi Mongkut国王科技大学选手，第16届21世纪杯全国英语演讲比赛海外选手特别评审奖。
A belief should not be a blind trust in a person or thing.
A belief should not be a belief without proof.
A belief should not be an act of the will without the act of the understanding.
A belief should not be something you feel trapped within.
Ladies and gentleman, I’m Jiratha, a contestant from Thailand. I’m going to give a speech on what beliefs I had when I was young, how we can obtain reasonable beliefs and how belief can make a difference.
Beliefs are part of our lives, rich or poor, sick or healthy, old or young. Beliefs may be right or wrong, depending on how you look at them. When we were young we were taught to believe in many things that we could not make sense of. For me, in Thailand I was told not to sing while eating otherwise I would end up marrying a very old man. And when there was a rainbow in the sky, I was forbidden to point my finger at it, if not, it would be cut off. I was told not to cut or trim my nails at night or I would lose all the fingers. Silly, right? I am sure many of you have childhood eccentricities you have experienced. These beliefs that were taken for granted during childhood later turn out to be good messages hidden in parables. The reason why we should not sing while eating is because we could choke. The rainbow thing, they did not want us to point at people randomly by accident. It’s just impolite. And for nail cutting, it’s just because we can’t see things well at night and might hurt ourselves. As children, we are protected from the consequences of our actions, and in fact even prevented from acting out many things. Later on, as adults, we are left unprotected from the consequences of our decisions and actions.
We start questioning things and have our reasonable beliefs. And this is the point where a certain belief makes your life different. What can happen to you if you believe in everything blindly? You cannot see what’s right and what’s wrong. You become naïve and dumb. And you can be taken advantage of. But how can you have a reasonable belief so you won’t be a fool? Should we believe in things that can be proved and lead to a logical conclusion?
Many people like you and me believe in science and making judgment calls based on evidence. However, science is continuously “changing” and many “facts” have been proven wrong, incomplete or otherwise unreliable. Remember, even a scientific giant like Einstein confessed that he made a great blunder. And, science has not been able to prove everything, especially matters of a metaphysical, spiritual or subconscious matter. So, a “blind” belief in science being the last word on any subject or the absolute insistence on using the science “filter” on discovering truth can lead to false assurances.
Before I end this, I can’t avoid talking about the internet. In this era, we must learn how to identify what’s to believe and what not and how to steer away from wrong and bad information. Be critical. Question what you see, and remember that information on the internet is no more likely to be true than what you read in print media. Remember that your 13-year-old neighbour can publish on the web as easily as the China Daily can!