This I Believe

Grace - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on February 26, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Making Lemonade

I believe life is only as good as you make it. I play golf, and within this game I have to make many individual choices. I have learned that to become a better golfer it is important to stay positive throughout a round. A sand trap, a tree, or even rough grass can provoke immediate frustration, but the more negative a golfer becomes, the less likely he or she is of making a good shot. It is crucial to stay positive and find a better side to the situation. Maybe what seems to be a bad lie is actually a better angle to reach the hole. Who knows?

I believe this idea should be related to life itself. Life comes fast, and when someone is least expecting it, tragedy can occur. Difficult situations can change a person’s life, but decisions he or she makes to deal with it can make the real difference. When I was ten years old my mother was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma. That was the day that changed my life.

After the period of shock wore off, I began to take things into consideration. It was a terrible circumstance, but I did not want that to take over my life. I started to pick out the good things that had come of something so bad. My sister and I, who constantly fought before, were now closer than ever. My divorced parents were spending more time together in the hospital. My family’s relationships were growing stronger. I stopped taking my life for granted. Rather than dwelling on the severity of the predicament, I found joy in seeing each member of my family every day. Focusing on the negatives of a situation will only make it seem worse. I can look back at my mom’s illness as something that has helped me grow into the person I am today. I know that I am mentally and emotionally stronger than some of my peers due to the hardships I have overcome. I also know, however, that many of my peers have gone through similar problems. I hope they understand that they can make almost any situation better if they try.

Last week my father’s best friend was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. I am very close with his four daughters. When I see conditions like this, I hope the people involved know what I know: you cannot let a bad situation weigh you down, but rather have it lift you to a new height. I believe that something good can come from something evil if you look close enough. Struggles in life can come suddenly, whether it’s a bad golf shot, an illness, or even a death, but being optimistic can change your life for the better if you allow it to. I believe in the search for the illustrious silver lining. I believe that if life hands you lemons, make lemonade.