This I Believe

Sebastian - Loveland, Ohio
Entered on April 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe I can fly. Every child has a dream of flying. Whether they jump off of a chair, table, ladder, or worse, children attempt to mimic birds and flap their flightless wings until they feel that rush of air and weightlessness. Some drape themselves in blankets. Some equip themselves with oversized goggles and pots and pans for helmets. Others, the daredevils they are, just jump. And yet, they all have one thing in common. They all fail. Their eternal dream to fly turns into a short-lived tumble to the ground. But one day, just one day, they might succeed.

As a child, I was fascinated by anything that could fly: birds, planes, especially pilots. Hummingbirds would flit through dream after dream: one second here, another second there, suspended in air. Planes would zoom by on trips to Timbuktu in a vast and boundless sky. The pilots manning them were my heroes. My dad was a pilot himself, and I began to share his love for flight vicariously. I would put on his expensive, green headset and be teleported into a waiting airplane. I flipped a few imaginary switches, pushed on a pretend throttle, and off I went into a fantastical sky.

Still, in reality, the birds, planes, and pilots all had conquered something I had not. I was chained to the earth by the undeniable force of gravity, while they had defied their captor and tasted the freedom of the skies.

So I jumped. I jumped off the couch. I jumped off the bed. I even jumped, fell on the fire place, and had to be stitched back together. I never learned. Something was propelling me to fly. I felt that if I believed I could fly, I would fly. Of course, I never succeeded, but I still believe that if I want to accomplish a goal with every part of my being, nothing can stand in my way. Not even gravity.

In the words of my father: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” When I, a supposedly-limited human, desire something, anything, even to fly, there is a way to fulfill that desire. People have overcome the impossible, transcending all previous doubts, through hard work, perseverance, and even some luck. On a windy December day of 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright brothers made history by flying a total of 12 seconds, a far greater length of time than any kid jumping off a couch could manage. They had the will, and they found the way.

Even though I have not flown myself, I find that there is something to be learned in our childish whims. I am truly free to achieve my goals as long as I am willing to devote myself to them. When I come to the edge of a cliff embodying the impossibility of a goal, I simply jump – and fly.