This I Believe

Jill - Gahanna, Ohio
Entered on December 10, 2006

Determination

I believe in determination. I believe in mental resolution, and the most powerful, underlying depths of the human mind. I believe in growth through trials and the fortitude that guides us through such times, and the presence that each individual’s steadfastness has on the lives of others.

As four o’clock this morning, I have officially, for nineteen years, been piecing together my own opinions of our world. I realize my heretofore brief life falls short of achieving advanced wisdom or incredible experience, but all of my understanding of humanity revolves around the power of persistence. I have met hundreds of friends, and said goodbye to many of them between trials and tears. I have battled a human fear of lack of control, and tested my theories through a disease that is more common than society willingly admits: anorexia. For ten years, I have also witnessed my mother’s surrender to depression and suicidal contemplations. I have pushed my own physical limits in athletics and mourned when my body could not meet the demands of my mind. I have submitted to the temptations of physical desire and alcohol, and doubted my own self-discipline and intentions. And I have given myself, my love, and my future to people who return my hopeful heart in scattered shards. And most importantly, I have become a more courageous and unrelenting individual. I survive through my determination, and develop a stronger resolve as the fruit of my trials.

In the Bible, James 1:2 states, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” Have I expressed my belief in a loving and forgiving God? I believe in a God that uses the trials of our lives as opportunities to grow and become better people. After all, we are better people for improving the lives of other people, and that is exactly how we create an influence in the world that will be remembered after we are gone. Who has ever been remembered for accomplishing nothing, and who has accomplished anything without their own trials?

It is the determination of the human mind that guides us through these trials and makes us stronger. “Giving in” and “giving up” are solutions that are too simply achieved.

I believe in Mahatma Gandhi’s message that “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” I interpret this to indicate that the human mind is God’s gift to humanity; within each person there exists an incredible resolve, a frequently untapped reservoir of wealth of knowledge and resolution. We must use this willpower to overcome and grow from each test we face. Whether we are battling self-doubt, or running a marathon, or recovering from the loss of a loved one, we should employ the determination instilled within each of us as a tool of optimism, and strive to become better people. And pray. And hope. But most of all, believe. And believe in ourselves.