This I Believe

Peter - Evergreen, Colorado
Entered on May 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: integrity

Crisis Defines

How many times have you experienced crisis? Crisis is not the issue here, but how you respond and act in this crisis is. Whether it’s in a sporting event, school, or with family, how you respond to something that goes amiss shows what kind of a person you are, and ultimately defines you as an individual. I believe that how you act in a crisis shows who you really are.

Around five years ago, my cousin, my brother and I all got really into fireworks at our house in Wyoming. We got very good at it and eventually got to the point where we could make our own fireworks, sometimes we even made full size firework displays, kind of like commercial ones. However, around two years ago, after all the huge fireworks and seemingly, danger had gone off and left, my cousin and I decided to shoot a couple of normal bottle rockets. After having shot something like twenty rockets we saw, to our horror, that we had started a brushfire behind our house, which was quickly spreading. We had to make the split-second decision of what to do: to try to contain it ourselves, or to tell our parents and have the other ten people in the house help us. If we chose the latter, we would definitely get in trouble. Our choice became more and more obvious, as just in those two seconds we seemed to take in everything, from the smell of the fire, to the feel of hot sand on our feet, to the repercussions that would occur on us. We quickly ran inside and told everyone because by now there was a twenty-foot fire in our backyard. We eventually stopped the brushfire before it spread to more than three acres, thankfully, with the help of our family/rancher neighbors.

Thinking back on what happened, in those few seconds something occurred that was something I had never really experienced. Had we not acted as we did it could have easily developed into a several hundred-acre fire. When you are confronted with this kind of a situation, even if it isn’t as drastic as a fire, natural instincts kick in. It seemed that my subconscious took over and I was thinking everything, yet thinking nothing. I believe that it is in this state where you can tell who you really are.