Am. Lit, period 7
March 9, 2008
This I Believe
In a time of crisis, people panic, not relax. They blow situations out of proportion, not take them in stride. They see the hurdle of the problem, but never look towards the finish line. I believe that throughout life, it is important to remember that all things will pass and it is necessary to keep going. Similar to Winston Churchill who said, “Never, never, never quit,” I believe that people need to learn to be patient and persistent because there will always be an end to their suffering.
I have always known that each day would come and every morning I would have to wake up like the one before. Not until a relatively depressing time of my life, a time of questioning existence, apathetically disengaging and trying to pinpoint my place in the world did I realize that waking up each morning could be more of a struggle than it seemed. During this time my mother shared a story with me that added perspective to my outlook on life. I was sulking in my adolescent frustrations, repeating, “I hate school,” sitting at the kitchen table, watching my mom knitting, wearing pink pajamas, and my mother turned to me and said, “Once when I was having difficulties, your grandmother taught me a lesson that has stayed with me until this day. Your grandma turned to me, and said, ‘I took valium every day that Clyde was gone.’” (her son, in the Vietnam War) My mom held up her fist demonstrating my grandma’s motions and continued, “And then she said, ‘but you know, you just have to keep fighting.’”
When I heard this story the gears in my brain slathered themselves with WD-40, started steaming and rumbling and I realized that even when life seems at its lowest you must keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. Especially during adolescence, teens begin to learn that life can include things that you don’t necessarily want to wake up in the morning for. However, at this crucial time in human development, I believe that people should start learning that life is a constant conveyer belt of events, both good and bad that come and go. Even though my grandma’s struggle was particularly horrible, all problems, all conflicts, all struggles, both large and small, pass. I receive many calls from classmates, who are pulling their hair out, biting their nails off, and sweating oceans of sweat because they are nervous for a test. It is important to study for tests, but it is just as important to take them in stride. More than once have I responded to my friends’ woes by promising, “It will all be over by 5th period tomorrow.” And it will.
I believe that life can be hard.
It can be hard to experience adversity and continue calmly and rationally. I also believe that all struggles, big and small, significant and insignificant, easy and hard, have at least one thing in common. They all pass. The trick is not seeing into the future, the trick is remembering that life is full of ups and downs, lefts and rights, forwards and backyards, that both come and go.
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