This I Believe

Manu - Willow Springs, Illinois
Entered on October 5, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Making Lemonade

You all know the clichéd proverb “If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade”. I don’t find that to be entirely true. I think that people need to break free from that line and live life in a different way. I believe that people should decide how to live their lives individually, instead of trying to conform to everyone else’s standards. That doesn’t mean be an insolent rebel, but to enjoy life in your own way.

I found out that this ideal is important when I was younger, about eight. I always used to look up to my friend who’s a year older than me. I knew him since I was about four or five. I tried my hardest to be like him, he seemed to have it all. He was funny, athletic, smart, and instantly liked by everyone who met him. So I tried to copy everything I could about him. His hair, his manner of speech, his type of clothing, nothing was safe from me. After a short while, my friend realized what I was up to, and he confronted me about it. I tried to explain, but he wouldn’t hear it. Copying him wouldn’t change a thing he said. He told me that my life is my life, and there’s nothing that I could do to change that. So he said to be proud of who I am and to respect myself but not be arrogant. That’s all that matters.

After that, I tried my hardest to get through life without thinking about other people’s perceptions, but I can’t help but be a little vain at times. Hey, it’s in our nature to be self centered. The person who changed me has remained my friend ever since, I even count him among my best friends who I could go to for anything. He’s still a funny and athletic guy, but most importantly, he’s a great person. My friend has taught me an important lesson, and I am who I am mostly because of him. So remember what my friend said next time you wish you were somebody else, and remember, he told me that if life gives you a lemon, don’t just do what everybody else does. Next time life gives you a lemon, throw it right back and run like heck.