I believe that the unexamined life isn’t worth living. I really believe that: I would rather die than live my life as a cog in my culture, merely going through the motions and doing what is expected of me because someone said so.

I believe that for those people who are inclined to make art, the inclination is a direct order from God/the Universe/the Creative Urge/Bob. I believe that the Universe and God in essence want to see us do something creative with all this stuff they have lying around. They are creators and they want us to join the party. I believe that they understand when someone can’t or won’t or just isn’t interested but that for those people who are interested…we having an invitation to join the gods. I can’t imagine that it would be wise to refuse that invitation.

I believe in doing my homework, and I know that I am blessed because I generally enjoy it.

I believe that for as little as I tend to stand up for myself, my Mom, my Dad, my friends and lots of other people who love me think I should. I have a good head on my shoulders, and lots of people have helped put good ideas into it and I am very capable of making good, if unconventional, decisions. And I believe that doing your homework is essential to any decision-making.

I believe that I am too attached to homework to be a good Taoist.

I believe that adhering to convention is deadly poison for the life of the mind and of the soul, which is to say, for life. One cannot adhere to convention for reasons of one’s own, after all: if you have reasons of your own, it isn’t convention anymore.

I believe that I am to spend my life in another way than most people do–getting a house, having kids in a couple years. I believe that I am to travel and experiment and above all write. Always write.

I believe that my destiny is not written by God’s hand in the stars or anywhere else; I believe that I create my destiny every day that I wake to greet the sun, with every decision that I make. I choose it and shape it and carefully, gently nurture it like the delicate, tender seedling it is.

I believe that the easy way is almost always, almost inherently bad. And that in most cases, easy and conventional are synonymous.

I believe that most people these days need reminded that being tolerant does not mean liking or approving of another way of life. It means being freaked out or disgusted by it but not stopping others from living that way in spite of how you feel.

I believe that world really can get much, much better, and I refuse to settle for anything else.