This I Believe

William - Sugar Land, Texas
Entered on May 2, 2007

“This I Believe”

I believe in a chance, a chance to be happy, a chance to love, a chance to dream, and a chance to be successful. I believe too many people “fake” it and have settled for less than their dreams. I believe too many people are afraid of failure so that gives them an excuse not to try their best.

Failure is among American’s greatest fears sandwiched between dying in a fire and losing a loved one. What most people don’t realize is that we are human. We make mistakes. My father always told me that mistakes were acceptable, but not being honest about them or at least attempting to fix them was not.

My father, a man of compassion, dignity and integrity has been in prison twice for capital offenses yet he gives to charity as often as he can despite the fact that his job pays him a little more than nothing. All the government and employers see is a man who has robbed a bank at gunpoint and stolen money from Uncle Sam yet what I see is a man who was given a second chance and has done the most he can to better himself, others around him, and even people he doesn’t even know.

Perhaps the smartest man on the planet, Stephen Hawking, once had a dream of becoming an austonaught. After learning that he had a horrific disease he thought he may have had to alter his dreams. Little did he know that they were still attainable and he recently experienced zero gravity for the first time. I actually saw a picture of it and he had the biggest smile I have ever seen on his face.

How can a doctor proclaimed “vegetable” run a marathon? He can’t. You need good, strong legs to run. Tell that to Rick Hoyt who is not only running marathons but riding bikes and swimming miles for triathlons as well. Dick Hoyt, Rick’s father, carried his son across each finish line. The only reason why he did that was because his son typed to him through a computer, because that was the only way he could talk, that when they ran, swam, and biked he didn’t feel paralyzed anymore. Rick also saved his dad’s life because during a marathon Rick had a heart attack and the doctors proclaimed that he would have been dead fifteen years ago had it not been for his incredible physique.

I have often settled for second best simply because I didn’t want to work for first. I was scared of failure. I was the meet of the sandwich. The self proclaimed good part. However, perhaps the old saying is true. Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. And if you are wondering Dick and Rick Hoyt still run, swim and bike as much as they can for the simple reason that Rick has a cantaloupe smile on his face every time they do.