My Beliefs

I don’t believe selfish people succeed. I simply do not. They might achieve small successes here and there, maybe even score a few touchdowns, but I don’t believe they win in the end.

When one of these folks tries to make you feel small, remember that.

And since we’re talking about what I believe, I also believe wholeheartedly in Coca-Cola. I’ve heard it’ll rot your teeth, stain your kidneys, and cause frontal lobe damage. Maybe that’s true. I’ve met several people who won’t touch the stuff. All I can say is: I pray they enjoy long lives and perhaps land themselves on a Colgate toothpaste commercial.

Something else I believe in: plump vegetables from Mama’s garden. Fat tomatoes, ham and beans, boiled peanuts, crawfish, red-eye gravy, iron skillets, wood baseball bats, trotlines, and Silly Putty.

I believe in sweating because it feels good, making things with your hands. I don’t believe in crash diets—no more than I believe driving on an empty tank of gas makes your car look sexy. I believe in summer, in pine trees, in poetry that doesn’t rhyme, in miracles, and kindness without motive.

I believe in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—something about them makes you feel like a kid. And kids. I love children. I believe in them more than anything else. In fact, I believe God himself just might be a perpetual six-year-old.

Let’s see, what else.

I believe that if you close your eyes and listen to the sound of your own breath, you’ll hear your heart. And I do believe your heart speaks in a soft voice that’s easily drowned out.

“Tell her you love her,” it might say. Or, “Quit being so proud.” Or, “Will you stop drinking so much Coca-Cola? I’m turning into a pickle over here.”

The fact is, I don’t know you, but I believe in you. And I believe you have more strength than you know. I believe one day, they will hand out Olympic medals for life, and I hope you get several just for making it this far.

Maybe then, will you understand why things happen the way they do. Maybe you’ll remember all the things you believe in, and the people who believe in you. And in that moment, I hope you can’t even recall the faces of those who make you feel small.

I hope you’re only able to remember one thing:

Selfish people cannot succeed.


  1. Tish - May 3, 2016 6:31 pm

    You make me feel like I’m closer to home after I read one of your stories 🙂 In fact we’re going down to Alabama to pack up my daughter from college this weekend… and I’m definitely looking for some boiled peanuts – I think its too early but I’m still goin’ a look (my husband hates them). Thanks for writing so close to the heart.

  2. Melissa Sanders - September 10, 2016 1:35 pm

    I love this with all my heart!! Thank you for reminding me of all of it.

  3. orgillian - June 5, 2021 7:59 am

    I wonder if selfish people exist to give us a bit of guidance about what not to do. Ergo, the reason selfish people cannot succeed is because no matter how much they have, it’s never enough, sort of like running a race they can win because it has no finish line.


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