This I Believe

Judith - Connersville, Indiana
Entered on January 24, 2007

The core of my beliefs was established very early in my life, as my mother refused to accept the pronouncement of the doctors present at my premature birth that “the child will be a vegetable.”

The first block in the foundation of my beliefs is persistence. Mom was left to raise three young children by herself, and she was often faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges. Her utter confidence that she could do anything kept her going, and she tackled every obstacle with the firm belief that she could overcome it.

During my lifetime I, too, have been faced with many challenges and obstacles, and I have adopted the philosophy of “If you tell me I can’t do it, I absolutely shall do it!” I was told by a high school counselor that I would never get a scholarship or go to college. I received three scholarships and did, indeed, go to college. At the age of nineteen, I took a job that had never been done by a woman at the company, and at the end of my career with that company I had not only done the job well, but earned the respect of many people for my ability as a technical writer.

The latest obstacle has been one concerning my health. I have a rare disease, Dercum’s Disease, which daily challenges me on a physical level. While others that I have met with this disease tell me that I can’t do the things I do–gardening, bowling, housework, etc.–I refuse to accept the limitations and have continued to do what I enjoy. The disease itself is a challenge as it gives me the opportunity to encourage others and to make the medical profession more aware of the disease.

The second block in the foundation is knowledge. Although Mom never went beyond seventh grade in school, she never quit learning. I believe that the human brain has an infinite capacity for knowledge, and that we benefit greatly from adding constantly to that knowledge. I sometimes have as many as three books in the process of being read at the same time, and I am interested in a wide variety of subjects. My favorite television shows deal with history, travel, science, and technology. I love to listen to people, especially older people, and learn much from them.

I believe many things, but persistence and the thirst for knowledge are the main blocks of my beliefs.