Imagine being woken up by your mother screaming, “The house is on fire!” and then questioning if you are still dreaming. Suddenly, adrenaline is pumped throughout your body and smoke invades all of your senses. You get out of the house with the rest of your family confused about how all of these events could change in an instant. After the fire is put out, you learn that the fire was started by the lights you forgot to turn off before retreating to your warm and safe bed. You feel the blame all around you, coming from the stares of frustrated family members and their thoughts conveying themselves to you. “How could you possibly forget to turn off the lights?” “It is not hard, just flick the switch off.”
What would you do? Would you have the courage and admit that you are responsible? Would you handle the situation with poise or would you be so panicked that you think the world it going to end? Therefore, I believe it is not your actions that demonstrate who you are but it is your behavior through the crisis that truly brings out your individuality and your personality.
It was second grade, walking down the hall into Mrs. Fiest’s room. I felt refreshed from the sleep the night before and I was excited to see all my pals. I was wearing my favorite shoes, neon-green sweat pants with shorts underneath and one of my many soccer shirts. Scott and I always found it really amusing to de-pants one another just to find shorts underneath. It was a magic trick, pull down the pants and “Tada!” Shorts would appear. It had become an on going game for a while and it always got us giggling. However, this morning Scott not only grabbed my sweatpants but also mistakenly grabbed my shorts too! In that moment, I was left with only my pink-babie underpants on and my neon-green sweatpants with my shorts down to my ankles. I instantaneously turned bright red and pulled them up as fast as possible and hid in the corner.
Looking back on this unfortunate event, I recognize that I did not know how to handle this embarrassing crisis and therefore, I did not really know what type of person I was.
However, a few years later, our soccer team found ourselves in a must win game to advance in the tournament, down a depressing two goals. Everyone was sluggish on the field as if our legs were stone. On top of this, we were not even challenging anything out of the air or going into tackles hard. In spite of this, eight minutes into the second half, we suddenly “clicked”. We became more focused and determine and most importantly, our energy level sky-rocketed. In the end, we fought back to win the game and consequently, this momentum carried us through our other games and lead us to be tournament champions.
I would like to believe that I have matured to a level of character where I can cope with any crisis by being focus and determined that eventually will lead to my success: This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.