This I Believe

Honganh (Hillary) - Fairfax, Virginia
Entered on September 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

I first fell in love in the second grade. Or what I thought was love that is. He was cute, and I was hopeless. Naturally, I assumed the feeling to be love. But still to this day, despite the experiences that come with growing up, I still do not know what it is to love the way my mother loves. I believe that genuine love must be discovered and learned. Sometimes, it takes only a day to learn true love – for others, it may take a lifetime. Love is the greatest gift anyone can give or receive, and discovering its truth is the best accomplishment anyone could ever reach.

Growing up in my teenage years, I unfortunately misunderstood my parents frequently, especially my mom. I could never grasp where they were coming from, nagging me day in and day out about getting those straight A’s, or cleaning my “messy” room. One day nearly three years ago, lost in a storm of fury, with clouds as dark as night obscuring my view to reason, I shrieked the three words a mother never wants to hear from her child: I hate you. I didn’t mean it, of course, but the impact of those words on my mother scar my memory forever. Her eyebrows fell back into her face, revealing large eyes filled with the glint of shocking pain. Tears brimmed those large eyes, yet I saw the conflict within her, fighting to hold them back. It seemed as if her whole face had faded three shades, and for the first time in my life, I had shut her up. Immediately, my heart dropped to my stomach, as I felt the uneasiness of being the worst child in the world. Until then, I had never realized how powerful a few words could be. Buddha once said, “Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.” I believe in the power of words. Speaking out, in truth and respect, is the only path to communal understanding, and ultimately happiness. I believe that people must help people in this world in order for us all to succeed and reach peace. All peoples, rich or poor, black or white, can make a difference, just from the power of their own words.

Everyone has to believe in something, for I believe that faith is what helps guide the course of life. I believe in God, in Jesus, and in heaven and hell. I also believe in shopping as a medicine, in “healthy” chocolate, and in coconut flavored ice cream. One belief I just discovered was belief in learning. I believe that the ability to learn was God’s greatest gift to mankind, and that learning how to learn, and learning from our mistakes is what should be valued as the true accomplishments in life. Life cannot be measured by a house, or green paper (a.k.a. money), or the number of computers you have. Life is measured by what you make of it, and what you take from it.