This I Believe

Chris - Arlington, Virginia
Entered on September 20, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

In order to lead a fulfilling life, you must be able to find happiness and not take it for granted, even in the worst of times. It can be just the little things or reevaluating your life, but happiness must be found somewhere. This was made clear to me about 5 years ago.

I was in 6th grade, trying to figure out how the whole middle school thing was going to work out. I was sitting in math class when a strange announcement came over the PA system. It said that everybody who had parents who worked at the Pentagon, a military office, should visit their counselors immediately. That made everybody confused and we knew then that something was not right. As I went to my next period, I realized what had happened. The teacher had the TV turned on to CNN. It was showing pictures of planes, hijacked by terrorists, crashing into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. My friends and I were horrified and yet were glued to the TV, trying to see how many people could have survived and hoping it wouldn’t get any worse. We just stared in disbelief as the towers crumbled, killing hundreds of firefighters an policemen trying to save the innocent victims.

The rest of the day was the most unusual day of school I have witnessed. It was as if nobody could laugh and joke. All anyone would talk or think about was the attacks that would later become known as 9/11. The cafeteria was the quietest it had ever been, except for the reporter’s voice on CNN from the TVs. Food fights and rubber bands took a rest that day, nobody felt the heart for it after what had happened.

A few days after the initial shock, even though the disaster was still very present, people began to revert back to their regular activities, messing around, telling jokes, and that sort of thing. That’s when it began to be clear to me. You had to be able to think about the whole situation. There was nothing any of us could have done to remotely stop the terrorists. However, we need to be happy that we were not killed ourselves. We should be happy and rejoice that we are still alive, our lives are still intact and none of us are without clothing, housing, and our parents still have jobs. We needed to recognize that this was a horrible event but there are still things to be happy about in our lives and we need to find them. Dwelling only on the bad is no way to go on living your life, something positive can always be found.