This I Believe

Jeffrey - Bellevue, Washington
Entered on February 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: gratitude

The day my best friend denounced me, I swore I would avenge my honor. Now, I have been given a revelation instead, which I am all too grateful for. Having faith in taking every step for the benefit of those around me, despite never having gratitude expressed for my work, is imperative. Though I am prone to hyperbole, averse to veracity, and biased in my unestablished ethos, I ask you to heed my tale.

It was a long time a-coming. Our little project was to run a high school math team, he and I. On paper, we may not have been equals, but privileged positions are relative. Nevertheless, I always maintained it was all of our responsibility to beat on, like boats against the current. I would prefer to say that I did my part. Whether it was discussing decisions with the advisor after hours, personally spending class time to organize and prepare practice materials and lesson plans, or merely shuffling paperwork around, I felt frustrated when many, oftentimes an acquaintance, would fool around with tarot cards or stick figures on the whiteboard.

Ultimately, there was—excuse the language—hell to pay, of which I fully concur. However, it was I to blame, as my associates, united, usurped my vision. So I moved on, with no opportunity to make amends or to reconcile friendships, of which my views on such are altogether another story. When another friend, this time at a different school with a different team, too, accused me of having done nothing, of having accomplished nothing, no longer could I deny the truth as I had come to realize. One will never be thanked enough, in reality. Alas, the futility of seeking recognition for our efforts is all too real. Not I, not you, not them. I, as well, have come to the conclusion that I may be, no, I am most definitely as guilty of committing this heinous offense as all the rest.

Why I was chosen to experience this epiphany, I may never know. I cannot claim to have seen the human soul, nor answered the perplexities that continue to bamboozle mankind—let alone understand. I am even less sure if it could be worthy of discourse. My only consolation may be the words of an anonymous commentator, who stated that for every hour spent laboring observed, there are twenty more behind the scenes. Being underappreciated is a fact of life. Like the proverbial cameraperson and makeup artist, I must plea for their cause, and ask you, have you given enough credit to those neglected by history?

In a more naïve time, I recall a letter from my fourth grade teacher, who I venerate for her wisdom to this very day. There was a quotation, translated from he who need only be referred to as Napoleon: “Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.”

This, I believe.