This I Believe

Sean - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on January 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

You want to know something funny? I spent over 20 minutes thinking of the best possible way to start this paper, but after many attempts at the perfect topic sentence, I realized that emotional speeches and all that jazz really isn’t in my nature.

My name is Sean McCoy and I’m fifteen years old. I’m the guy you’ll probably see at every thrift store in Utah (not to imply that I’m a shifty person, I just happen to like the selection there). I’m the guy that can’t keep a straight face, who knows detention like the back of his hand and chuckles into the face of danger. I’m different. Now, before you say “This trashy young fellow better not be dating my daughter”, my personality says nothing about my beliefs: I’m the guy who you’d suspect of drinking, but I believe in self-restraint. Ironic, isn’t it?

I heard a song many years ago called “Different”. It was written by Sage Francis, one of the most respected underground rappers today. That’s quite a title for someone who’s white, sober, clean of drugs, and even a vegetarian. He speaks his mind and lets his emotions talk for him. When family or friends let me down, that kind of music is always there for me. After all, who better understands your struggle than a (once) starving artist? I am also a musician, but I remain anonymous. Regardless, even though fame might not ever hit me, his music constantly reminds me that I’ve made it this far without alcohol, and I plan to keep it up.

I love to hike, play tennis, skate, and hang out with my friends. Those things are beautiful; they are simple things in life. When you pause time to look out the window, you notice something. You may see the world at its peak or at its slough because the relationship between you and the world is mutual; it’s only as good as you make it. In other words, there is always a way to find happiness. A bottle isn’t comforting at all.

It was late, and many people were drunk after my cousin’s wedding. A friend of hers thought it was a good idea to get away from the party and take a boat ride by himself. His senses were clouded from the liquor. As he paddled, he began to loose balance, and suddenly, he fell off the boat. He struggled to get back on, but his motor skills were blurred. He couldn’t do anything to save himself.

It really is strange to see how fast everything can change, because after the celebration, his friends went searching for his body at the bottom of the lake.

I’d like to end this on a good note. Everyone has a responsibility to the people they love. It means being there for them at any moment. It means having self-control so that you can help them when they don’t.