This I Believe

Mark - Denver, Colorado
Entered on May 7, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Penalty Kick

Imagine that your team is down by a goal in the championship, you have been fouled and are now taking a penalty kick to decide the game. Now imagine that you have missed that kick.

This single moment often decides who is the hero, or who is the goat, but it isn’t during the incident in which you find out who you are, it is after when you are facing the consequences of your action. Did you make the goal? What did you do? Did you congratulate the other team, or celebrate wildly with your teammates? Did you miss the goal? What did you do? Did you sulk around for the next two weeks? Or did you pick your head up and look to the next season? So it is not the crisis that shows who you truly are, it is the way you face the consequences that show who you truly are, whether it is on the sports field, or in everyday life.

Whenever I make a decision I fear the consequences my decision could have on everyone around me. I fear that I may make the people around me unhappy. The decision itself can be made instantaneously, but the consequences last longer than a “yes or no”. Today’s world is even harder to make a decision, because people like to put a face to their issues.

One of the most embarrassing moments of my life occurred in the 6th grade. I played the piano and had been playing it for quite a while. Our school has piano recitals and I happened to be in this one. I walk down the steps to the piano, cold sweat gripping to my palms, every step echoing throughout the entire theater. I finally reach the piano, and halfway through my song, I forget the rest of the music. I get so frustrated that I rest my head on the piano, I heave a low deep growl of frustration, and then walk off the stage. I was incredibly embarrassed; this, or as I told myself, would be the last piano recital I would ever attempt, but when the next opportunity came around I decided that if I was going to stop playing the piano, then I had better end on a high note. I decided to play in the next recital. This time the cold sweat still gripped to my palm, but when I was successful. I like to think that took some level of courage to repeat something even though the past consequences of that same thing were bad.

This was a small example of showing who you are in the face of your consequences. This occurs everyday in every part of the world. I believe that people show who they are, after the event has occurred, but after the event, when the consequences arise. So what did you do after you missed the kick?