This I Believe

james - Ohio
Entered on November 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I am a student at Oak hills high school in Cincinnati Ohio. In the majority of my classes I see kids being lazy and doing enough to just pass by. They don’t try their hardest by any means. To me they are wasting their lives.

Over the past summer I was shot in the eye with a paintball gun. I was on complete bed-rest for over 3 weeks. I am a 3 sport high school athlete, so to me this was devastating. I didn’t know whether I would ever again be able to see out of my right eye. Though this was undoubtedly the scariest moment in my life, it taught me something very important.

I was eventually able to see again after around 3 weeks of bed-rest and doctors visits. I’d been to the hospital everyday since the accident. It was strange though all I could think about was getting back on the football field. I missed the hard hitting intense action of the gridiron. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but it was definitely something I wanted to do.

Getting shot in the eye taught me that in life nothing comes easy. You have to work hard for everything you want. There is always a fork in the road no matter if it’s getting shot in the eye or something as little as getting fired from a job. The only thing that matters is how hard you work in response to bad things that happen in your life. I knew getting back in shape and rejoining the team wasn’t going to be easy, but it’s truly what I wanted.

I am not going to lie; I was scared the first time I put on a helmet and hit someone. The risk of a re-bleed in my eye was still significant. I wanted to play still; I had worked very hard all off season. I wasn’t going to let my hopes go. I worked as hard as I could everyday in the weight room and in practice to regain my confidence. Eventually my first game arrived. We were playing our rival, the Elder panthers. This was my first game back from the incident. I knew I had given my everything and I was rewarded by starting. I played the rest of the season with no re-injury to my eye.

From the moment I recovered I promised myself I would give my full effort in everything I do. This is why when I see kids slacking in school it upsets me. They have the opportunity to do great things, as does everyone. They were given the gift of life, and their gift back should be what they do with it. If you work hard anything is possible. Every great person was once a kid. They became great by working hard and being persistent. With these qualities anyone can succeed.

I was thinking the other day that if everyone in the world would work as hard as they could to be good people, it would be a much better place. In rural areas like Compton, kids take the easy way out by cheating and stealing. If they would work hard in school and in life they wouldn’t have to make bad decisions. A lot of people end up in jail that had potential to be someone amazing. They just decide to not work hard and take short cuts.

I don’t yet know what my purpose on earth is. I know that I’m going to work as hard as I can and never give up though. As for others, I just hope they follow my example. The world can be a great place if only we would all just try hard, don’t give up, and make good choices.