This I Believe

Tyler - Montrose, Colorado
Entered on May 23, 2007

I believe in the value of life, and because of this I believe in making the most of it.

I was lucky enough to be the son of a very strong man, who unfortunately had very serious health problems. In his early teen years, my dad was diagnosed with liver disease. I learned the value of life from my dad. It wasn’t from him speaking to me of the value of life, I simply learned from watching him live his life to the fullest.

My dad and I had very similar interests: sports, the outdoors, and family. His passion for life revolved around these things. Because of his health he was limited on the things that he was able to do. I should rephrase that–he was limited on the way he was able to do things; he wouldn’t allow his health problems to keep him from the things that he enjoyed. Roughly 18 years after a liver transplant, my Dad’s body was severely damaged from the effects of the necessary medications. His bone density was well below the medical definition of critical, but he would still go for full day hikes in the mountains behind our house. One day he was out for one of his hikes and had to cross a fence. He stumbled on the fence and fell and broke several ribs. From there he hiked the 4 or 5 miles back home. I think half of the people in the world would have laid down and died right there in those conditions. When he came home he didn’t have much to say about it and went to work the next day like any other. There are many other stories of pain that he pushed through without complaints or regrets, and there are countless stories of other people’s pain and perseverance. The important thing in my life was the impact it had on my perspective.

I believe that life is not as hard as you think it is. Life may not be fair, but that is no reason to think that your life is rough. When I think of things in my life that have been hard, I realize that the things that I go through are incredibly insignificant. I believe it is very important to realize this. While everyone probably knows this deep down, I believe there is great value in truly understanding this fact. Having it be more than just a realization at the back of your mind, but to think of it when you are feeling down and sorry for yourself.

Because I believe in making the most of life, I believe in finding what it is that you love. For some people it is easy, it comes natural. That isn’t true for everyone and it isn’t true of every point in one’s life. The point is, it is important to think about it. In my life, I have seen both sides. When I was young my life revolved around football and sports, to me these were the most important things in the world. I know a balanced life is important and I may have been one tracked, but at the same time I felt incredibly lucky to feel so strong about something. When football was over and my normal grown up life began, I found myself in a time where it didn’t come naturally to find what I was passionate about. While I was lucky enough to meet my wife and fall in love, the real world had become a bigger part of my life than doing the things that I loved to do. I believe that day-to-day life and responsibilities are not what we live for and should never take precedence over what we love. I truly regret it if a Saturday is spent cleaning the house. I know that houses need cleaned, but I feel that not enough people realize the trade off you make when you miss a beautiful day outside. Sometimes the day-to-day responsibilities of life can make you forget what you are passionate about. Sometimes the things that you are passionate about may change, that is why I believe it is so important to consciously think about those things because you may neglect them. Everyone is different and the things that they are passionate about differ. The point is, it doesn’t matter what you’re passionate about. It is important to constantly pursue the things that you are passionate about and to not let them get lost in your busy grown up world.