The Importance of Perspective

John - wichita, Kansas
Entered on March 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in a positive attitude. Only recently have I begun to understand that in any given situation things can be great, or things can be miserable. It all just depends on my attitude.

A few years ago a friend of mine, Tim, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor, an incurable cancer of the brain. He was given a little less than a year to live. When people met Tim they expressed condoling sentiments of pity and sadness, but he would always brush their grief away with a grin and say, “We all got to go someday—just a matter of when and how.” A man deeply rooted in his faith, he knew he was merely crossing the bridge from his current life on earth to a better, eternal life with God. I would always find it ironic to note that others seemed far more depressed about his imminent death than he did. He had a way of looking at any situation and seeing the silver lining as opposed to the dark nimbus. This attitude became a source of immense encouragement to those around him who already were mourning his upcoming death. As predicted he died within ten months of the diagnosis.

I learned a lot about life from Tim during those last ten months of his life. He taught me that a life without hope is far worse than any kind of death one could suffer. He taught me that no trouble in life is insurmountable if one views it with a positive attitude. From Tim, I learned that I would never face any barrier in my life I could not overcome. He instilled within me a feeling of limitless power by exorcising my fear of failure. I learned that failing is learning. I learned the importance of a positive attitude.

Since Tim’s death my life has drastically changed. As the youngest of eight children, nothing held higher importance to me than my tight-knit family’s unity. Not long after Tim’s death, problems began to develop in the relationships within my family, and in a short time our unity was shattered and I became estranged from many of my siblings. Thanks to the lessons Tim taught me, instead of becoming depressed and reclusive, I decided to look at the situation in a positive manner realizing that all broken relationships are reparable—its only a matter of attitude. Since then my relationships with my siblings are much improved. Although they are not one hundred percent healed, I feel they soon will be.

Thanks to Tim, instead of fearing the future, I anticipate it. I cannot wait to meet new challenges because I know that by maintaining a good perspective, I can overcome any obstacle and emerge a stronger, healthier human being. I believe in a positive attitude.