This I Believe

Ben - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 15, 2007

I believe that you should never give up. This simple statement is something that is not often cherished in today’s world. We are among a society with so many perceptions that if something isn’t easy it’s not worth doing. People thing that if something doesn’t go their way they should simply move on and walk away from their troubles. However, I was brought up to believe that when things do not go your way, you must work even harder at the task at hand.

My father is a man that taught me many of these principles in my life, and this one is certainly no exception. I was sitting in a meeting room with my Pop Warner football team about to go over strategy for our first game. Being the starting tight end and strong safety I knew that year was going to be my year to shine. I had listened to my father’s advice to work hard every day at practice, never coming in last place no matter what the odds. As I sat and waited for the coaches to begin to speak, I noticed a paper was being passed around the room. It was a form stating the first and second-string positions and the playbook for next week. Eager to see my name on the first team, both the offense and defensive side of the ball, I could not wait for one to get to me. As soon as I saw the paper, I began looking for my name. Not seeing it under tight end I thought maybe they had changed me to a different position. However, my name was nowhere to be found. Looking next to the defensive side my name was left of the sheet as well. I immediately began to think there had to be a mistake, I caught every ball in practice; I made every tackle that came my way, I worked harder than anyone out their.

The coach began to talk at the meeting, going over the string, leaving my name off of every slot. I couldn’t believe this, I was being passed over by guys who showed up late and didn’t ever play hard on the field. My frustration began to build so much that I could not wait to leave the room. I walked straight out of the meeting. I saw my father and he asked me immediately how it went, I simply replied, “I QUIT,” as tears began to role down my face. I ran to the car, telling him my story in between my anger and sobbing cries. I could not understand how this could happen; I had not done anything wrong. He agreed with me in disbelief. When I walked home through the door I began to pound the walls, yelling and screaming that I quit. It was at that point my father grabbed me by the shoulders firmly, looking me dead in the eye. I will never forget what he told me next. He told me firmly that you never quit. He told me, “To show these asses that they just made a huge mistake, that you now have to fight harder, run faster, and hit harder than anyone on the field. You don’t quit and walk away; you stay and fight to prove others wrong.” That next day at practice I worked harder than anyone. I made twenty tackles at linebacker in our scrimmage and caught two diving catches with a defender on me. Although I did not start or play much my first game, I continued to work. Pretty soon the coaches could not keep me off the field. They placed me at starting tight end and outside linebacker that next week, where I would stay the entire rest of the year.

This moment in my life and my father’s words of wisdom are now something that I always take with me. When things do not go my way, or I get gipped out of something I rightfully earn, I do not fold up and quit, I simply work ten times harder to prove people wrong. For without the strive to succeed, there is no point in even trying.