The Mind in Times of Distress
“I think, therefore I am,” said the wise philosopher Descartes. Humans have used the brains God has given them to finish the impossible, to invent new technology and even destructive creations. With the thoughts of just “I can do it,” people have accomplished much in their lives. We see on TV with so much focus on the perfect body; in reality, people should really focus on the perfect mind. We have all seen this phenomenon of the mind even in Hollywood movies where one man is able to defy the odds with his sheer determination that looms in his mind. I believe in the power of the mind to help solve the problems of everyday life.
September 13, 2005. Tears flowed down my face as we all mourned for “the departed.” My father lay inside the coffin, dead. I had just started my eighth grade year as a middle school student. It was only an ordinary day like everyday. I arrived home to find my driveway packed with cars. My relatives all said the same thing: “we were going to be OK” and “we will help you through this.” I shook my head with agreement but deep down, it really wasn’t going to be “OK.”
The funeral had only begun and I burst into tears. This led to a chain reaction, and everyone began to pour out their emotions. I don’t remember the sermon the priest gave. I don’t remember my family walking down the aisle to my father’s coffin. I don’t remember even the words I spoke when I went up the podium. But I did remember one thing: my brother had not shed one tear from his face the moment the funeral started. How could he not show one ounce of respect to the man that gave him birth and raised him to a man?
I realize why my brother had not been crying. He really was shocked by my father’s death and he really was crushed by this unfortunate event. Despite this trauma, he knew he had to assume leadership of the household. He knew he had to help out the family when we most needed him. He knew he had to change for the family even if that meant sacrifices. He set his mind to defend the family at the time and assume responsibility.
Every now and then, I watch my brother when he picks me up from the movie theaters. He still has that responsibility in his mind. I believe people can use the mind to solve everyday problems, not just Algebra problems your middle school teacher assigns to you. I believe in the mind.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.