This I Believe

Zachary - Beaverton, Oregon
Entered on September 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

This I believe

When I was five years old my parents and I went to the mall to see Santa so that I could tell him what I wanted for Christmas. On my wish list was one thing: a field goal post so that I could practice being a football kicker in the backyard. When I told the bearded saint my wish, he chuckled and said something I’ve always remembered, “I’ll do what I can, but what you should be happiest about is that you know what you want to do, and you’re doing what you can to make that happen. As long as that is the case, you’ll be alright in life.”

The words I just put in his mouth now are the guidelines for my life. I believe that one of the secrets to happiness in life is truly knowing what you want for yourself and then pursuing in that endeavor. This isn’t something I believe in just because a random guy in a red suit told me so thirteen years ago, but a lesson I’ve learned through growing up.

As I now know, it was my parents, not Santa, who were the benefactors of my holiday, and they deemed it inappropriate for me to have such a gaudy item on their own property, for whatever reason they had at the time. They did give me a pair of soccer cleats and a ball, and offered to sign me up for a soccer team if one was available. Given what was available, and as an aspiring athlete in general, I subsequently realized I didn’t want to be just a field goal kicker anymore, but in fact a star soccer player who also kicked field goals for football teams when that option was available.

But whether you’re a star soccer player or not, you meet a lot of people in life, and while you won’t remember a lot of them, I think that from each interaction that takes place between people is impacting. You take something away that shapes you into the person you are, even if only in the slightest way. All of these exchanges together form your own personal philosophy, how you view the world, who you become close with, and what you want from life.