This I Believe

Steven - Charleston, South Carolina
Entered on May 24, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I believe: Be happy for this moment- this moment is your life. Simply put, we must enjoy every moment of every day, because this is all we will ever have.

Instead of going to the local public high school, my parents sent me away to Woodberry Forest School, an all-boys boarding school in the middle-of-nowhere, Virginia. As I sat in my dorm room one somber night freshman year, I came to the startling realization that much of my time inside the gates of Woodberry would be spent waiting. Waiting for a second period class to end, waiting for spring break to start, or even waiting for Graduation. At the time, I decided that there would be no way to enjoy four years of this perpetual time-killing.

Many weeks later, I found myself discussing the thought of this wasted time with my sister Laura. She offered me advice in the form of the quote above, taken from a bracelet she received from our gentle grandmother. Later that night, I began to recall times when I had or hadn’t been “happy for this moment.”

One particular memory involved a walk from my house to my father’s office some twelve blocks away. I always dreaded this dreary saunter down the bustling streets of downtown Charleston. However, as I stepped out the front door this time, with my sister’s words in mind, I decided to take a different route. I walked through the college campus, past gardens of blooming tulips and dorms with Corinthian columns. Though I had viewed all of this scenery before, I had never been fully aware of its beauty. As I arrived at the office, I found myself refreshed and contented, not to mention utterly disappointed that my stroll was already over.

Just because you are waiting for something to happen, or something to end, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the company of those you are with or the splendor of your surroundings. After I first tested these words of wisdom, it immediately became my policy to try to enjoy myself every moment of the day. Approaching my senior year here at Woodberry, I often wonder where all the time has gone. This alone is a true testament to the relief and pleasure that this course of action can provide. In addition to taking advantage of the uneventful hours of my life, I hope that I have been able to brighten the times of those around me. Joy and pleasure are contagious, and I believe that, by being happy for this and every moment of my life, I can help spread this happiness to those who may be wasting away the glorious present.

After all, this moment is your life. This I believe.