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Keith - New Albany, Ohio
Entered on November 29, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

In this world, it is hard to stick to what you believe. There are a lot of people who devote themselves to trying to change other people and convince them to conform to their beliefs. I know what I believe in when it comes to politics, religion, and everyday life. From the second I get out of bed in the morning and go to school or work, to the point I lie my head down at night, I believe in living my life with no regrets.

I believe that my actions as a student, son, boyfriend, employee, and citizen reflect my belief not to have regrets. I take pride in my actions and decisions that I make as a person. I think about my actions before I do them, so I do not do something that could tarnish my image to my friends and family. By thinking things through before-hand, I have been able to help more people that may need my help, and I stay out of trouble with people that I do not know as well. Thinking before doing can be practiced for something as easy as budgeting time in the day for school, work, and homework. I need to plan ahead so that I will complete my assignments, and still make it to work on time. I also need to be sure that I am behaving in a manner in which I want to be seen in all situations, be it class, on the job, out in public or even in church. With so little free time in the day, it seems that I plan out the time for homework around class and my work schedule. On the other hand, thinking before I do things could be in a more occasional situation such as deciding to not drink and drive from a party. This decision takes thought, but also takes time management. By choosing the cab ride home, I know before hand that I will not regret trying to drive home. It also takes maturity and determination to not so something that I will later regret.

As human beings, it is difficult to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, and to not think about our choices that haunt us from the past. This is especially true for things that we have done and are not especially proud of, but we have to accept the fact that we did them. When I was in the sixth grade I was arrested for an open burn violation, which involved setting a small grass fire in a back yard. I made the decision after school one day to ride my bicycle over to a friend’s house about two miles away from my house. When I got there, we were alone in his house just hanging out. We were out in the garage when an older boy, maybe three years older than us, came over from across the street. We started playing with a lighter off of the table and a can of WD-40 in his backyard. Before we knew it, the street was full of fire trucks and police cars. One of the neighbors called 911. After going to juvenile court and being assigned to write apology letters to the police and fire departments, as well as the neighbor who caught us, I also served fifteen hours of community service and completed a fire safety class. None of the punishments was close to how hard it was to face my parents. I knew that they were disappointed in me for making such a poor decision. For the next year, I was not allowed to leave the yard, and they took me to school and back for most of the seventh grade. Needless to say, I had a great golf swing by the end of the summer.

This was definitely a turning point in my life. I realized that summer that I had disappointed my parents and family which was a feeling I never want to feel again. This was nine years ago now. and I have never disappointed my parents again in any fashion close to the way I did that summer. I am very proud of the how much joy I brought to my parents through football, high school graduation, and my recent engagement to my girlfriend of four years. To live life without regret has been my premise for every decision I have made since the sixth grade and I feel that I am a better person for doing so.