This I Believe

Bobby - 33467, Florida
Entered on October 8, 2006

I went through childhood being taught many things. Whether it was learning to be a defensive driver, learning to throw a football, or how to act around adults; I learned a variety of things from my parents that I don’t learn at school. I even pride myself in the little things like being able to go to a debate tournament in a full suit one day, and go to a rock concert in nothing but a t-shirt and ripped jeans the next. And even though it I get great grades in the hardest courses available, I believe that what truly makes me unique is the little bit of knowledge I have in many aspects of life. I believe that it is a blessing to be a well-rounded human being, and to be knowledgeable in different areas. We live in a society that teaches their kids to try to be good at one skill. With vocational high schools popping up all over America, and parents preaching irresponsibility by giving their kids whatever they want, we are sending youth a signal that you only need to be well-versed in a few aspects of life.

For as long as I can remember I have held some household responsibilities. Going from vacuuming my room, to cleaning my bathroom, to mowing the lawn; I have always held some type of household chore that has taught me discipline and how to manage a household. In a society where many children are babied and given anything they want, my parents realized that they didn’t want their kids to grow up to be spoiled and to expect everything to be handed over to them easily. It was with their determination for my brothers and I to complete our chores that helped us understand the meaning of a schedule and how to do a job correctly. Getting paid an allowance every week for our efforts, my brothers and I also learned how to save and appropriate money in a variety of different ways. While many of my friends still go through high school without any idea of how money works and how to handle it, the fact that my parents wanted me to be well-versed in different areas gave me the advantage on how to handle my funds.

Going to an arts school, it is very rare that I ever get to talk sports. Being a very important part of my life since I was 3 years old, I have been well versed in virtually any sport since the early years of middle school. While it is annoying to not be able to express my interest in sports with support, I find it to be a valuable trait that makes me unique from almost my entire student body. Being able to know what a ‘run’ is in baseball might not seem like a big deal, but like my dad has always told me: If you’re a business man and you want to bring a client to a baseball game to finish a deal, standing up and going “Yes! We scored another point!” could have an effect on what the purchaser thinks of you.

It may not seem like something life altering, but my pride in being well-rounded has driven me to be a unique individual in the world around me. Having the ability to be well versed in so many aspects of life gives me an advantage over someone who went their entire young adult life only truly focusing on a few things and disregarding so many pieces of the puzzle. Even the simplest things such as how to be a defensive driver are things that my father has always preached to me, and makes me not only believe in well-roundedness, but also believe in the importance of good parenting. Like my parents did for me, kids should be pushed and told to focus on improving themselves as a whole, not just in fragments. I appreciate all the ability I have today, and credit it to my parents for keeping me alert and teaching me to be the best possible man I can be.