This I Believe

Nicholas - Webster, New York
Entered on March 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: fear, hope, setbacks

On December 13, 2006 at about 8:30 PM, I was robbed while at work. The doorbell rang and I turned to greet another customer, but I was faced instead with a robber dressed in a long coat, a Rastafarian hat and was holding a shotgun. He walked in brandishing the shotgun, cocked it and hurried all the customers to the back of the room. He then instructed my manager and me to open the registers. I was paralyzed in a state of panic, and unable to hit the correct keys to open the register. The robber began to berate me: “Hurry up,” “Don’t mess with me!” After opening his register and all but throwing the money at the suspect, my surprisingly calm manager waved me aside manning the second register, lest I infuriate the man holding the shotgun. He opened the second register dropped the money on the counter and the man was on his way. Though the incident took only about 45 seconds, it seemed like a lifetime. After three hours of questioning and fingerprint dusting, which I had to clean up after, we were allowed to go home.

The next day in school, I regaled my friends with the story of my heroics the night before. It may have been embellished along the way with some lines of witty dialogue, or myself being the one to save my panicked manager, but I don’t know how those rumors may have been started. After the story was told, it was often followed by the same question, “Are you going back to work?” I always answered the same way, “Why wouldn’t I?” All my peers assumed that I expected it would happen again.

I believe that people should never fear life. People not only fear the bad things that may happen, but are also afraid of hoping for the best. Most people are afraid of disappointment and thus only enter into ventures half-heartedly, not expecting the best possible result, and thus passively expecting the worst. My mother has always told me never to be afraid to try new things. She always tells me the story of her 25-year employment at Xerox. As a result of her apprehension to leaving her comfort zone and trying rotational assignments, she had only one set of skills. When lay-offs came around, the people who weren’t afraid to try new jobs were the ones who had become indispensable for their wide skill set, and the ones who kept their jobs. My mother was laid off. Even amidst her disappointment she told me, “It was my fault. I didn’t try other jobs. I didn’t try new things. Don’t make the mistakes I made. Don’t fear change.”

That brings us to the present state of affairs. My mother has a new job where she does a variety of duties, including translating for non-English speaking students, along with health aid work at a local high school. Myself, I’m still working at EB games expecting good sales, but not to get robbed. One must go into everything hoping for the best, not expecting the worst, and must never let fear become their master. This I believe.