This I Believe

Brandon - Concord, Massachusetts
Entered on February 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Life is a Boat

Life is a stream and we are the carefully crafted boats that sail on it. Each twist, turn, and waterfall are the challenges. Each test is a potential rock attempting to break my boat. In life, you are bound to take on some water. It is not a question of how much water you take on, but rather how you deal with it. It is not how big the hole is, but how I fix it. I believe that that there is a plug and pump for every size hole or amount of water.

Each experience reinforces the walls of my boat. These experiences dampen any unexpected waterfalls or white water rapids. Math is a long stretch of white water rapids. I am sailing fine. Then I hit some rapids and find a hole. I continually fix the hole and pump the water out. I may sail gracefully one math test, and then my boat slowly stops as it fills with water. One continual pump I have found useful is sports. A good hard Wrestling practice seems to take out any water that has entered my boat.

In English, I am reading Fahrenheit 451. A book set in the future. The main character, Guy Montag, is a firefighter. In this book, Firemen do not put out fires, but create them. In this futuristic society, books are forbidden because they create controversy. It is the firefighter’s job to burn them. Guy is having difficulty steering his boat. He does not know why the people are so devout to their books, so he leans towards breaking the law by keeping books.

Beatty, the Fire Captain, suspects that he is keeping books. He tries to steer Guy back to not thinking and just doing with his slick arguments. This is Beatty’s argument, “I’ve read a few books in my time, to know what I was about, and books say nothing” (Bradbury 62)! With experience on his side, Beatty attempts to bring Montag back. Montag is still curious why people are so devote to their books and contacts Faber. Farber was an English teacher before books were banned. He is too scared to fight back in the open so he and Guy fill the holes in their boats when Guy breaks the law and escapes persecution.

I believe no matter how much water a boat takes on it can always be emptied and repaired. There is always a new hole to plug on the river of life. With each hole that is plugged there are less holes to be plugged in the future. Whether it is wrestling or books, there is always a plug and pump in someone’s life.