AP Lang 2nd Period
October 12, 2007
This I Believe
I believe that human beings spend too much time preparing for a future full of preparing, and that what really matters is what we do in the mean time. As a high school student, I have finally realized what the typical backbone of day-to-day life consists of for the normal American. Either A, school, or B, work. When we start school, we spend all our time and energy trying to get good grades in order to get into a good college. When we get into that college, we spend all our time and energy on getting good grades in order to get a good job. Once we get that job, we work it for the rest of our lives. Awesome. When I think about it, what’s the point of it all? Students labor for a minimum 10 hours a day on school related activities and have precious time to themselves. We spend the first 22 or so years of our lives in preparations for our futures. But what is the reward for all this toil and trouble? What is the prize waiting at the end of that long, rocky road? Work. Great, now we spend our days laboring to simply sustain a normal existence, put food on our tables, and a roof over our heads. Oh yeah, and there is that rare one week vacation once every six months to keep us going right? And then once we’re done sustaining our horribly average lifestyles for a few decades, we get old and die.
I’m not trying to sound like a terrible pessimist or anything, but this is the bare-bones outline of a normal human life. This is a perspective that I acquired shortly after reading a word master, in high school literature class nonetheless, about a scientific study outlining an experiment that somehow proved that life is not worth living, and that scientists are still working on a hypothesis as to how me manage to suffer through it. Well, to say the least, this was rather unsettling to me, being a freshman at the time. But looking back at it, I think that it’s everything outside of this backbreaking life that we all worry through that is the purpose for us living through it in the first place. I mean, honestly, when is anybody worry free, especially during high school? I believe that our lives are lived in order to experience those special things that are open to us, whether it be riding a rollercoaster or visiting a distant country. Honestly, there is so much that can be done in a lifetime, and I believe that it is wrong to simply waste all that time worrying about school or work because, as important as most will believe both are, I believe that they are simply a means to an end, that being living comfortably, because you can’t ride that rollercoaster if you can’t pay to get into Six Flags, and you can’t get to the Caribbean unless you have the money to purchase a ticket. Balance work and play, and maybe even tip that balance toward play occasionally, because why should we even live this life if the only reason that we do so is to study, work and then die. Stop preparing for the future and start enjoying the present, that’s my simple philosophy.
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