This I Believe

Alex - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, gratitude

Alex Davis

This I believe: Never take anything for granted

I believe that no one should take anything for granted, no matter what it is. To me, it seems as if everything that I cherish disappears when I take it for granted. When I was little I thought that I just automatically got everything, I thought I had the right to emotional happiness. I took advantage of the fact that I had a happy childhood, and I wasn’t happy with the fact that I lived with two, married, loving parents. When my parents got divorced, I was an emotional wreck. I spent most of my time feeling sorry for myself and I didn’t spend any time being happy. I thought that nothing could ever make my life any worse than it already was.

But then something made me change my mind about how I was viewing life. My dad died about in April of 2007. I realized that I did not cherish him when he was alive. I spent a majority of my time arguing with him about stupid things and I did not enjoy the time I had with him because I was too busy fighting with him. I fought with him about many things but mostly about my parents divorce. No one had ever talked to me about all of the good things I had. I always thought that I had a hard life and I spent most of my time complaining to my Dad about what he was doing wrong. In reality, I was the one who was causing most of the problems. My negative attitude radiated to my other family members, and for most of the time, none of us were happy. Now my Dad is gone and most of the last memories of him involve arguing. So now I tell people to minimize the complaints about their lives and look at what they have, and not what they are missing. It is a mistake to take things for granted. I did, and now all I wish is to have a little more time with my Dad.

The saying “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone,” is true and I should have realized that before it was too late. “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is also true. I don’t worry about small things that won’t matter in a week or so. I just let them go and spend the extra time on something important like talking to someone I love. I now know that I should not take anything for granted. Don’t assume that you automatically get anything. Accept the things you have and be grateful for them.