This I Believe

Helen - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

When I was four years old, my mother and I were listening to the radio as the theme song from Jaws came on. Without ever having seen Jaws, my instincts told me that music was a bad sign. I turned to my mother and asked, “What is happening that made that music so scary?” To believe in one’s instincts is extremely valuable. How will you ever manage to trust others if you have no trust in part of your basic nature?

Instinct and intuition help a person grasp what is going on in imaginary situations as well as in real life. The huge influence of the modern-day influence of the media disrupts human intuition. The instances are so real that our minds are deceived by what they see. Unfortunately, the fictional or second-hand situations we are exposed to in the media all too often trick our minds into over caution. After watching a movie or show about murder and mayhem, I often find that I pick up every noise and sound in my house, be it creaking wood or cooling fridge. My imagination goes wild with every movement: a thief is walking upstairs, pillaging through our fridge, or jimmying the widow open. As these false worries escalate, I begin to just ignore all feelings like them.

With time, each person begins to regain that instinct of danger that was lost with exposure to the world. I, personally, have begun to disregard the everyday noises and distinguish them from those that really are warning signs. Hopefully, when we happen to chance into real life-threatening situations our minds will distinguish between reality and fantasy. I would like to think that I can tell when there is real danger around me, but the truth is that I will never really know until I am in danger. Will I just explain away an odd inconsistency one day? If only I had not lost that childhood intuition to society.

I truly hope that I have my mother’s sense when I have to face real danger. She once told me that, while walking to school, a man tried to strike up a conversation with her. He asked her personal questions and even offered her a ride as his friend drove a car next to the sidewalk in keeping with their pace. Sensing danger, my mother gave the man a vivid description of her imaginary overprotective boyfriend who would come searching after her if she did not make it to school soon. When the man finally got into his car and drove off she noticed that he had a hunting knife strapped to his leg on the side facing away from her. From then on, my mother never walked to school alone. This showed amazing instinct and quick wit that I hope I have inherited. I may not be alive today if it were not for this instinct that allowed my mother to recognize potential danger. I believe trusting your instinct is vital.