This I Believe

Erin - Icard, North Carolina
Entered on March 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

An old Chinese Proverb says, “Learn as if you were to live forever, live as if you were to die tomorrow.” This proverb encompasses what I believe because we are never promised tomorrow so we should live each day as though we won’t wake up the next morning.

When I was younger I used to go through life thinking, “Oh well I have tomorrow…” In the sixth grade, this thought changed drastically. It was the last day before Christmas break, and we all got to go home early. Later that night, I got a phone call saying one of my best friends, Brandy, was a victim in a fatal car crash. She had been going with her sister and neighbor to Hickory to do some shopping. Her neighbor was driving and drifted across the yellow line, causing a head-on collision with a tractor trailer which cut all three of their lives short with a conclusion that no one expected. The realization that Brandy wouldn’t live to see another day didn’t sink in right away; I refused to believe that a girl who I spent so much time with and shared so many memories with would no longer be here. After Brandy’s funeral, I began to see how vulnerable life is and how we should thank God for every day He gives us. I never expected one of my friends to die at such a young age, and her death opened my eyes to the fact that it could happen to me.

Just last week I was reminded that we are never promised tomorrow, yet again. My boyfriend was on his way home from his uncle’s house, when he hit a piece of black ice and flipped his truck. His truck was totaled, and had he not been wearing his seatbelt he would not be alive today. Zach is only 19 and still has so much of his life to live, when he flipped his truck my thoughts immediately went to his future plans and what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, had God not been watching out for him, he would not be alive today to accomplish his hopes and dreams.

Time and time again, my eyes are opened to the fact that my life could end any second. There is so much that I have not experienced yet, going to college, visiting different countries, the ability to have a family, and so much more, when I am given that chance, I’m going to say yes, because I never know when I will be given another opportunity. Each breath we are given is a precious gift that we should not take for granted. I believe each person should live each day to the fullest in case you never get the chance to take another breath.