This I Believe

Inspired by the NPR series “This I Believe“.

I had a dream, literally. Three and a half years ago, I dreamed that we may be able to understand the nature of heaven from understanding the good here on Earth. That’s not the kind of thing that happens to me.  I’m an accountant. Finance, actually, so I don’t like details, but still fact-based. Saying I had a dream about heaven sounds about the same to me as saying I saw aliens or Bigfoot. When I woke up from the dream, I knew I needed to share the idea, so three and a half years later I find myself publishing a book. I never expected to write a book. I wanted to be a scientist when I was growing up, a nuclear physicist to be exact…smashing atoms and exploring the foundation of the universe. But I met my husband early, and we married young, so I majored in something practical. That’s me – practical. I didn’t tell anyone except close family about the dream or the book until six months ago when it was completed and time to begin the publishing process. Since then, an amazing thing has happened. Opening up to people about my story has given me an amazing and unexpected gift, reinforcing and even helping me better understand what I believe. Here’s what I have learned about what I believe. Though my religious beliefs are Anabaptist Christian, I have learned that I don’t believe that I have the only truth. I believe everyone’s beliefs should be respected. I have learned that there are enough similarities between the world’s major religions that it is difficult to believe there isn’t some truth in all of them. But I have also learned that there are some people who seem threatened by that view to the point they will even attack inclusive views. Though their voices are often the loudest, or at least the most attention-getting in our 24/7 cable TV culture, I choose to believe that there are more of us who are accepting of others’ beliefs. Society today is too divided – we need to hear more from the voices of acceptance. Now that I have found my voice and my beliefs, I will not be silent again.


About Kelly J. McCleary

Wife and mother of three, author, financial professional View all posts by Kelly J. McCleary

5 responses to “This I Believe

  • Barry Mongan

    Great post! It made me think of Karen Armstrong’s TED talk about the ‘Charter for Compassion’ – her plea to bring together people of different faiths and to find compassion based on what unites them, not what divides them.
    Even as a non-believer, I would argue that the compassion, empathy, love for our fellow human beings, and respect for others’ views should be central to our way of thinking. Sadly, I think we’re in the minority; I wish we weren’t.
    More info about the charter:


  • Carla E.

    PS – I wanted to be a scientist too. (smile!)


  • Carla E.

    I like the idea of letting our ideas “see the light”. I recently spent a Sunday evening with good friends sharing our opposing ideas on religion and views of the universe/afterlife. I didn’t change my opinon one iota, but my respect and understanding of other’s views grew 10-fold. I hope you are right that we are mostly tolerant and accepting of other’s beliefs. It’s a good reminder to start with myself…


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