This I Believe

Ruth - Bethesda, Maryland
Entered on October 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Carpe Diem, meaning “seize the day,” or “pluck the day” more literally, is a phrase that is often used to encourage people to live each day to its fullest. I believe that we are only given one chance to live our lives, and it is most important that we live each day of it as though it is our last. I have been raised to always look at the bright side of life and most importantly, to appreciate what I have. Horace’s Latin poem (Odes 1.11) relates to this belief, as he encourages his friend Leuconoe to take advantage of what he has in life. “Don’t ask…what end the gods will give me or you. Don’t play with Babylonian fortune-telling either. Better just deal with whatever comes your way.” His strong use of figurative language appeals to the audience and not only does he influence Leuconoe, but also the reader. “Even as we speak, envious time is running away from us. Seize the day, trusting little in the future.” I believe in Horace’s statement. We never know how long we have left to live and what is to come in the future, with this statement, it would be wise to live each second of our lives to its fullest and take that extra leap to go out of our boundaries and follow our dreams.

In my own experiences I have found that it is difficult for me to do everything that I want to do at my age. I’ve always wanted to travel the world and visit every country, however with school work, sports, my family, and friends, it would be very difficult for me to take time to travel. In the meantime, I can take advantage of the simpler things I am offered each day at school and in my everyday life. For example, my two older sisters are currently at university in Ontario, Canada. I am very close with them, they’re my support team, and the best teachers I have ever had. At times I will go for months without seeing them, but whenever I am given a three-day weekend I take advantage of the extra day and drive up with my parents to visit. Specifically, a couple of years ago my mom said that I had a long weekend coming up and we could easily take the time to go visit them. However, there was a threat of being snowed in, which would mean that I may have to miss an important day of school the next week. I spent the week constantly debating if I should go up to visit them or not. I was flustered and overwhelmed with the decision I faced. I thought about how much I missed my sisters and how long it would be until I would see them again. I missed being able to stay up late walking by Lake Ontario with the wind in my hair and my sisters at my sides listening to the soft waves break on the rocks. Finally, I decided that life is too short to worry about the small things; I would go to visit them. While we were in Canada I loved seeing my sisters, meeting all of their friends, and sleeping in the dorms. It was the perfect weekend. Luckily, we made it back home in time for school on Monday with no regrets. I was pleased to have taken advantage of the opportunity to visit them and to have “seized the day.” I believe that in order to truly appreciate what I have I must make the most out of it by doing what I love and taking risks.