Every morning, I wake up to the sound of my alarm radio; “Live 106.7, the Judy and Dave show”. I slowly turn and look at the time only to see it read 6:15 A.M. I reach over to my case, take out my glasses, and turn off the alarm. I lie back in bed and stare at the ceiling, cursing the powers that be who decided on such an ungodly hour for school. After a few minutes of muttering words fit for confession, I find the energy to prop myself out of bed, take a shower, eat breakfast, and drive to school. I sit through the ever-lasting lectures of school, play tennis, come home, do homework, and retire to bed. Such mundane events make for a typical day in my life these past three years. On a recent night, I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, pondering the purpose of my life. No surprise there. I mean, who doesn’t want to know where they fit in this world. Yet this night, all my thoughts kept wandering to the same conversation I had with my uncle.
Sitting on a beach in Florida, we were staring at the waves crashing into each other and watching the seagulls perform suicide dives into the ocean. As my cousin ran towards the water, she tripped and fell. My uncle and I began to laugh, and as if prompted by some strange urge to bestow wisdom, he began telling me about his life. Having worked in his particular industry for nearly ten years, my uncle decided to pit his wits against the world and started his own business in his mid-thirties. Not long after his start, the company began to grow and he achieved the success he had longed for. Still, as the rules of this world decree, one shall not have success till one has sacrificed. He had to work fifteen hours a day, travel around the world, and essentially miss out on his daughter’s life. As we continued to talk, I could hear the sadness in his voice, explaining to me the pain that comes with living with regrets. The last thing he said still resonates throughout me, “Life is not about the money you make, but about the individual you are and the way you choose to live life.”
The fact is that in today’s world, people of my generation are driven by the material values that seem to easily define ideal success. I feel that I fall under that stereotype, but only to a certain extent. It’s true that in life I would like to be wealthy, yet I firmly believe that there is more to it than just the flash. I believe that as my life passes me by, I do not want my only goal to be attaining the financial status of my uncle; rather, I’d like to make a difference in this world. I want to feel like I have truly achieved something and avoid the regrets that come with days gone by. I understand that each human being is given one chance on this planet, and as such, I want to use my opportunity to make it count.
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