This I Believe

Josephine - Austin, Texas
Entered on January 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

I believe in the virtue of family. I believe in the human capacity for hope. I believe in the power of pursuing your dreams.

An eminent lyricist once wrote: “You know a dream is like a river; Ever changing as it flows; And a dreamer’s just a vessel; That must follow where it goes; Trying to learn from what’s behind you; And never knowing what’s in store; Makes each day a constant battle; Just to stay between the shores.” In his song “The River,” Garth Brooks sings about the dreams that flow from the deepest desires of our hearts, the trials and tribulations that help strengthen our pursuit of our dreams, and the ambition that it takes to achieve our aspirations—all of which are values that I’ve learned from my family.

My family has taught me about dedication, ambition, and the pursuit of the impossible. My ambition to learn as much as possible about life, about bettering myself as a human being, and about learning to overcome hardships have been fostered by my angels on earth—my family.

My father, especially, has made a tremendous impact on my life. He is the reason I strive to become an oncologist. My desire to pursue a career in medicine was heavily influenced by my father when he was diagnosed with lymphoma cell cancer nearly three years ago. It was at the time we received news of his cancer that I realized what I wanted become. I realized that my pursuit of a career in medicine could give me the opportunity to benefit my father and those like him—those who refuse to give up, those who refuse to let a disease bring them down, and, like me, those who refuse to have their spirits broken. It was this realization and this desire to make a difference in the lives of others that gave me the strength to carry through these trials.

Finally, my father has taught me about life’s struggles. Through my trials and tribulations, through my journey on the river known as life, I’ve come to realize that it is not always smooth sailing. Along the river, there are dangers, hindrances, and obstacles. But it is the journey—not the destination—that helps us realize that we have the strength to live our dreams. My father has taught me that, “Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”

To live your dreams, you have to strive to be the best you can be, and take to heart the values and lessons that are unveiled on your journey down the river.

Throughout my life, my family has taught me one important lesson: “Though the adversities of life may burden us down with thoughts of giving up, the greatest stories of success start with never giving in. I won’t sit upon the shoreline and say I’m satisfied. I will choose to chance the rapids, and I will dare to dance the tide.”