This I Believe

Caitlin - 22801, Virginia
Entered on November 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude

In the words of Cicero, “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but also the parent of all other virtues.” I believe in being thankful.

I believe in being thankful because of my experience playing volleyball at Goshen College for the past three years. Those three years were some of the most difficult I’ve had to endure. In order for me to look back on those years and still have joy, I have learned that amidst the hardships, I need to be thankful for the good that has come out of it.

It’s not easy to be thankful when things don’t go the way you expected them to go, but you can either choose to be thankful or miserable – and being thankful is so much more appealing. Being thankful has not only kept me from losing focus on the smaller things, but it has also helped me not take the bigger things for granted. Through playing volleyball at Goshen College, I have learned to look at my life and be thankful because I know where each experience has gotten me.

Not only am I now able to be thankful for those three years playing volleyball, but I can more easily be thankful for other areas in my life…

I am thankful for my friends and my family; for my parents and my sister who have always loved and supported me; I am thankful for memories I have formed and memories that are still to come; and for pictures that capture those memories. I am thankful for love and laughter because together they can cure so much; I am thankful for hope and that I can have hope even when it seems impossible. I am thankful for music and what it can do for my soul.

I am thankful for God’s creation; for growing up in the Shenandoah Valley awaking every morning to the view of the surrounding mountains; for sitting outside enjoying the warmth on the last days before winter; and for being able to experience God while watching a waterfall rush below me.

Amidst these areas of great significance in my life, I also recognize there is a playful side to gratitude: I am thankful for brownies and ice cream which make a great midnight snack when the studying blues kick in; for the natural color of my hair and being able to change that color if so desired; for smiles; for hot tea on a cold rainy afternoon; for road trips; for hugs; for clear night skies; for my grandpas ill-fitting false teeth because I’m reminded that he has lived long enough to wear out his own.

Being thankful has helped me realize what is important in life. It has made me look to what is good instead of focusing on the unpleasant. Being thankful has put in perspective the things in my life that have made me who I am. Playing volleyball forced me to focus on being thankful. And for that I am thankful.