This I Believe

Luke - east meadow, New York
Entered on September 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Growing up with separated parents has given me a life much different from what I would have expected when I was younger; in both good and bad respects. That event was probably the point that began to define me as a person. It was an event that started to shape what I believe in. Being separated from my father at eight years old was a very upsetting and discouraging event in my life. It turns out that this event has given me two important sets of values which have shaped the adult that I have grown up to be.

The first side of the story led me to trust no one. If my mother would turn on me, if the courts would turn on me leaving me with my mother instead, and if nobody really cared what I thought about my life, why should I ever trust anyone to do right by me in the future? I grew up very bitter. After being mistreated for several years under the care of only my mother, I became old enough finally (in the court’s eyes) to choose for myself what to do. Reluctant to change environments and leave friends, I left to live with my father in better interest for myself.

Since I can remember, I have had a special bond with my father; one much stronger than the bond with my mother. Because of that fact, it was particularly traumatizing to be separated at such a young age. Luckily, returning to live with my father for high school years, I spent my most valuable growing years in a better living environment. As a young boy, I was always interested in sports, which are generally an interest shared with a father. Sports have become one of the biggest parts of my life, and a great deal of what I believe in today as a young adult.

I believe in dedication, perseverance, loyalty, and hard work. These are values that I have gained largely from my life as an athlete, which I believe are extremely important in shaping who a young person is going to become. Young children who participate in sports are more likely to be quality people. Because of my life in sports, and the guidance of my father through those events, whether near or distant, I have come to believe in myself. I realize now that trust is important in life, as it is in sports. Spending my life playing basketball has led me to admire Michael Jordan, and admire a quote of his; “I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying.” I apply this to my effort today in working as hard as I can to achieve playing college basketball at Syracuse, my life in school, and anything else I encounter. I believe that every person should try, and not only for their own good. Sometimes they should try for the good of their son, their job, or maybe for a young boy whose childhood years could be hanging in the balance. Sometimes eight year old kids aren’t as clueless as adults might think they are.