This I Believe

Gregory - Santa Monica, California
Entered on June 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

I believe in the ability to take two steps forward after taking one step back.

It is an everyday cliché: If you fall off your horse, get back on it. If you take a punch, you punch back harder, but I believe that this winner’s attitude on life is more than just a cliché.

I believe that the true progression in life, or in anything for that matter, is only achieved by drawing good from bad. When presented with a hard situation or seemingly crushing blow, I believe that those who take good from such adversities are the people who live a truly healthy life. It is a true paradox: those obstacles in life actually propel life forward.

At age 17, it is easy for me to always look at the bad side of the picture. I can easily be given obstacles and accept them as handicaps on my life—but I refuse to do that. I have this philosophy because of my past.

When I was but 11 years old, I faced the ultimate obstacle a little boy can face in his life: my mother died at age 51. How did she die? That did not, and does not really matter all that much. The point is that I was thrown a big looping curve ball.

The following year, I proceeded to let the tragedy negatively affect me. As a sixth grade student in a new school, I achieved a fabulous report card of straight F’s. I had absolutely zero friends, zero incentive, and an abundance of depression. At age 12, my life was already headed down that infamous path that nobody has ever escaped alive.

Then came the epiphany. I realized that in order to truly get over my loss, I needed to live my life in a way that my mother would be proud of. I hated the fact that if she had came back just for a visit, she would have been ashamed at the way I was living my life, and where I was headed.

I realized then that I had to draw good out of the bad. No longer would my mother’s death drag me down; Rather, it would be the motivating factor in which I live my life. In reality, this huge obstacle that I faced at the age of 11 has been the driving force for me to succeed in life and make not only my mother, but also everyone proud of whom I am. This belief in turn makes me proud of myself.

As the entire world searches for an answer to all of it’s problems, the answers may seem elusive, but they really are not. The answers lie within the problems themselves. For these reasons, I believe in the ability to take two steps forward after taking one step back.