This I Believe

Austin - Solon, Ohio
Entered on December 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

In the book “The Prince”, by Machiavelli, there was a famous adage that he wrote, “It’s better to be feared then loved”. This connects to society because if someone asks nicely for you to do something, you might not do it. If he forces you to do something, then oftentimes you will do it.

My teacher (who remains anonymous) used force instead of regular teaching methods. If you didn’t do your homework, then he would get so furious that you would want to leave the room at once. The force that he used wasn’t like a violent force, but a force that still got us terrified and freaked out. An example, is when someone didn’t have the answer, he then screamed and got on his desk and stood up.

This deals with the quote because if he just mentioned to do the homework and didn’t cared if you did it or not, then no one would care and possibly not do it. When he stood up on his desk like some crazy monkey who will come at you if you didn’t do your homework, then the next time you won’t have second thoughts.

This brings me to my story at my school. One normal Friday morning, when everyone was excited to do something amazing this weekend, like going to a football game, going to a haunted house or something, I was shuffling to my class because I was late. Right when I got inside the class room, I tried to creep into my classroom as quiet as a mouse, so my strict and loud teacher wouldn’t notice me. But of course, he does and gets all angry and screaming at me on top of his lungs. But after that, I was just looking forward to how awesome my weekend will be. But soon after, my happy thoughts turned into very terrible and horrific thoughts. He just said that we have a mega, huge, and mile long test on Monday. My hopes just shattered like a little kid dropping a glass of water. So then he got into his moods again and starting calling each of us communists, and that we got to pay all that dept that the U.S. has, so I wasn’t feeling so good then.

He then got us thinking about the quote from Machiavelli, and how if he didn’t give us big tests and didn’t force us to do anything, that we would get no where in life.

I didn’t want to believe that because I wanted to have a fun weekend. But when I got home, I stormed into my room like a person in a really bad mood. I studied and studied like there was no tomorrow. I didn’t have a good weekend, I did my homework, and studied for that terrible test that’s waiting for me on Monday.

I slumped into school; I walked slowly to my locker, and barely moved to my class. I took that test and thought it was simple. I barely thought about the question, and before I knew it, I was done. I accomplished what I thought would be painful, but it was rather simple.

And then it struck me like a bolt of lightning, my teacher was right. All the things like “If you study you will do well”. That’s exactly what happened. Then I also remembered what he hollered at our class on Friday, “Its better to be feared then loved”. If he didn’t get so mad and screamed, then his point wouldn’t have been carried out. I learned something that day in that class; if you’re being forced to do something you almost automatically do it. If you don’t then you’ll just skip it. The saying has really helped me in ways that has greatly increased my grades and knowledge.