I believe in shooting stars. I believe in wishing wells. I believe in fairy tales and happy endings. I believe in making dreams come true. I believe in dreaming and believing.
Unfortunately, I also believe apathy has become a prominent part of society. As a student in high school, I have observed other students preparing for college and joking about not graduating. They also seem to think education does not matter. Doing well in class has been replaced by sleeping and slacking off. This has led to a loss of respect for life itself. Kids are doing drugs and participating in other dangerous activities with no thought as to the consequences. In everyday life, people take no notice of the world around them. Their minds are set on “making it through the day” and that is their goal; it is pathetic.
Apathy has also led to mindlessness in today’s world. I have always been a very goal oriented person, but something happened to change this: my parents divorce just as I was getting ready to enter middle school, otherwise known as hell. It cannot be stressed enough that this is the hardest part of adolescence. Dealing with their separation at the same time was almost unbearable. I did not know where to turn. Home is a place of peace, or it is supposed to be; but when your parents are at war…where do you go? Being the oldest, my parents both attempted to pull me onto “their side” and all I wanted was to get away. My beliefs in God, family and even friendship were pulled apart.
The picture perfect world I had always imagined was crumbling right before my very eyes and I wanted no part in it. The only way I found to express myself was through art. But for so long, I abused my talent and had no appreciation for it or anything else. Eventually, reality hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized there has to be something to live for. At some point in everyone’s life, they ask the question, “Why?” And the reason for this is that everyone has to have goals for themselves and find purpose.
In my life, I had been so focused on making it through my parents’ fighting every night; I lost sight of this belief. I forgot I had my own opinions. I forgot I had choices, dreams and aspirations. This goes for everyday life and for everybody. I can see this in everyone around me and I don’t know how to reach out to them. I see the need for clarity, goals and dreams. My realization that only I could control my situation, no matter the circumstances paved the way for my current standing on holding fast to my dreams, not losing focus.
Dreams are goals in the beginning stage. And believing is the only way to achieve anything. If you don’t believe in yourself, your dreams…what are you going to achieve? How are you going to make a difference?
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.