This I Believe

Anthony - Rochester, Michigan
Entered on May 11, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks, work

Pain Builds Character

“It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions,” This was written inside an envelope given to me in the locker room by my high school assistant soccer coach. It was before our biggest game of the year. Our team had made it all the way to the state finals. The quote came unexpectedly, but helped my confidence build as the game drew near. I was the only captain of the team that year, and felt like I had something to prove and accomplish. I felt I had to carry the burden of lost game and felt that every win was because of a great team effort. Making it to the state finals was a great success for our school, since our school was only three years old at the time. No other team has made it that quickly to the state finals, ever. We didn’t end up winning the championship and it was painful to make it that far and lose. But, this I believe: pain builds character.

Before you jump to any conclusions, I think emotional pain and physical pain help mold you into the person you are. There are two directions a person can go after suffering pain, they can go down the wrong path and ignore it or the right path and embrace it. People that go down the wrong path don’t learn from the pain, whereas people that choose the right path learn amazing things. I have seen people lose control and have seen people gain wisdom; it all depends on the person. Pain is something that is hard to deal with. But let’s face it – pain is, well, painful. When you deal with it in a good way, you build great character. A person that has dealt with pain and handled the pain appropriately, are the people that thrive and are accomplished. We all know people that handle pain improperly and they are the ones that fall short of what they might have accomplished. I’m not saying that I handle pain appropriately or improperly. But I know that one day I want to be able to be at the greatness of a person that handles pain so that I can achieve greatness.