This I Believe

Rosa - Colma, California
Entered on December 19, 2007

“If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be unhappy for the rest of your life” said Abraham Maslow, an American Philosopher and Psychologist, (1908-1970). Reading this quote reminded me of my childhood and growing up with many traditions. One of the most important was to be respectful to any elder no matter whom it was. As I grew up I thought to believe that living life in the shadows would keep me from problems and bad situations, and since then I let people boss me around, not expressing myself or what I thought and also being anti-social. Yet as the years went by I went through one of the most tragic events that changed my view towards life.

On August 5, 2006 my cousin passed away. It was a week before his 21st birthday and his friends had decided to take him to a car show called Hot August Nights, located in Reno. They hadn’t planned much the day before but they did know they wanted to leave Saturday morning and they did. Headed down to the car show they chose to pass by a friend’s house in a quiet neighborhood. Arriving to the neighborhood it was still dark out making it hard for them to see the street names. The reports say they where under the influence and had been intoxicated. They came to a street where they needed to make a sharp turn. Coming to the turn the car flipped and somehow had landed on my cousin fracturing his ribs and causing internal bleeding.

As the days went by I realized that he wasn’t around anymore and I noticed what he had going for him. Just a few weeks before he spoke with his mom and he told her about how it was he wanted to do better. He had understood that he needed to take on his own responsibilities and get rid of his old habits. But as he planned for future goals he never got the chance to achieve them.

This whole experience has made such an impact and changed my belief of life. Seeing that he didn’t get much time to change, I put myself in that same situation and thought if I had done all I could to enjoy life. I thought about how I hadn’t put much effort into trying new things or taking any risks.

So as I look back at how I kept myself from people and tried doing my own thing I noticed that I wasn’t happy. This quote from Abraham Maslow and the experience I had with the family helped me look at the way I lived my life. It opened my eyes to what I haven’t done and helped me believe that living life to the fullest is best. I learned to live life happy and to make things happen because you will never know when your last breath may be.