When I was a child I made a lot of promises. I took oaths and pledged allegiances to Gods, a country, and a host of associated ideals. Whether I realized it at the time or not, I committed to being a writer and a creative person as well. Every time I make a promise I try to remember the context of those promises. Always examine the things you've chosen to fetter yourself with.
I love my country and the people in it. I think my homeland is worth defending, building and preserving. I'm patriotic. I fervently believe in the faith introduced to me as part of my upbringing. Like any belief in the intangible, it is often misguided and even harmful left to the hands of men. I'm jaded, but still faithful.
I think that a person is supposed to struggle with their religious and civic identity. To merely accept something as truth without seeing it tested or practiced can amount to a sure faith, but not an examined one. I believe we wouldn't be granted access to logic and the mathematics that lay behind it if we weren't intended to use them.
Relative to my own struggle, it is all math. The more I learn and see, the more I understand the scope of understanding a person can hope for in this life. In truth, even the smartest person that ever lived won't come to understand even a fraction of anything meaningful relative to the scope of all existence. We're just too small, too insignificant relative to the span of the cosmos and everything in it.
That tiny mote of knowledge is extremely liberating for me. I like being small.