This I Believe

edgar - wichita, Kansas
Entered on November 12, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

To say I believe in living forever would be a false statement. People only live some forty years or so. Their souls may go on and live in an alternate dimension, but that is not the point here. I believe that everyone should appreciate what they have. The fragile glass-like object called life will not always be here, so one must enjoy what one has before it’s too late.

The statement “You never know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone” is a very clichéd statement. Sadly, though, I believe that this statement is many times forgotten. Humanity has a near-death experience and for about a week they enjoy life and are grateful for life and what they have. That is until they get a new car and are too busy worrying about not getting a scratch on the car than driving safely.

I too was once a child with toys and candy in mind. I took everything for granted including my pets sometimes. The big crash came when I was around seven years of age. I woke up one Christmas to an empty and disheveled Christmas tree. I was astounded that Santa Claus hadn’t left anything that year. Later- like every child will do- I found out that Santa Claus did not in fact exist. Another step down from naivety to appreciation. I then started to understand that nothing is always there.

That same Christmas, my family had a rough time trying to pay bills and putting food on the table at the same time. I never thought that I would be in this situation. I never saw myself going to the Salvation Army or another place I’d never been to pick up food. I also couldn’t see how people could eat the things my family received; stale bread, canned food that was years old, and even candy that had been unwrapped. People, though, do eat those things because they have nothing else. I had always taken my food, family, and shelter for granted that I was shocked to be in such a place.

Many will say that they never wish to be in that position. A position where one must beg for food. Where I had to fill out papers and papers in order to receive one piece of candy that had already been unwrapped. That year is my favorite though. I may have found out that Santa Claus does not exist, but I found out that more than manmade joy exists.

Today people think that if their cell phone gets scratched, the world is over. People believe that the world is infinite and joy and happiness is forever. I appreciate life as it is and am grateful for what I have. Woody Allen said “The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.” In this I believe.