This I Believe

paula - bangor, Michigan
Entered on June 27, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I Believe. . . Our Lives Are What We Make It

Through my life I have been single, poor, and depressed, and other times married, financially secure, and happy. If I wouldn’t have learned anything through all the terrible and the good times in my life I would feel ignorant and small minded. But I did learn. And what I learned is my belief that we all have one life to live and it is up to us to live it the best way we can.

Every one of us in this country has the same rights. The right to work and make money, the right to live where we choose, the right to help our neighbors, the right to worship in any church we wish, the right to be happy. The basic rights that every American citizen gets from birth, just for being an American. We have the right to go to college and be anything we want to be. The right to marry who we love and have as many children as we want to have, or can afford to support. What we do with our lives is our responsibility and no one else can make this decision for us.

Not every one grows up in a healthy family environment with both parents working and stable. Not every child is loved and wanted as they should be. Poverty and domestic violence are hard to overcome. But it can be done. A single low income parent can raise their children with the same love and good moral values as the family down the street, with two working parents, who drive the new cars and have a pool. I know this because I have raised my children to be compassionate, independent, responsible, secure people who care about those around them. They are not selfish or greedy. They care about what happens in our community and those that live next door. They didn’t have a pool or a trampoline. But they didn’t go hungry or cold. They didn’t have to live with violence because I protected them. There is not one perfect person on this planet but there are many good people and I am proud that my children are included.

I believe that no one else is responsible for my life or how I choose to live it. That is up to me. It is up to all of us to look around and help those that may need it. It may only be a dollar to a homeless person, or your old clothes to a shelter. It may not cost a dollar amount at all but only living a good life. Or showing compassion when it’s called for. A hug costs nothing. We have to show our children that the world we live in is what we make it. To blame others, make excuses for mistakes is the easy way out. Take responsibility for your actions and learn from them. Don’t worry about what someone else has; be thankful for what and who is in your life. I can’t blame anyone for my poor judgment and mistakes that I have made. I own them and I have learned from them. I believe that being responsible for my life and decisions is a good example for my children.