This I believe

Collin - Durango, Colorado
Entered on April 22, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: gratitude, hope

A few years ago I was sitting on the couch eating ice cream and watching TV with my dad. It was a normal day except that I had had a really rough day at school. I was very stressed and wanted time to just stop. My dad had given me some ice cream in a futile attempt to cheer me up. As I sat watching, I told my dad about why I was unhappy. “School sucks!” is what I said a few times in a frustrated tone. He looked at me, understanding, but I had to make sure he understood. Basically I was sick of it and wanted to not ever go again. It was right then that on CNN, news came up that over in Africa families were struggling because they didn’t have enough money to care for their families. The kids didn’t have schools to go to, and each day they went around struggling to find food. A mere potato would have made their day. I went quiet and watched this depressing news. Then it hit me that I was very, very fortunate. I looked down at my chocolate ice cream, and then back at the TV and I felt horrible. These families were struggling for food and education when I was complaining about a bad day at school. At that instant I decided that from then on, I would not complain and I would be grateful and positive about life even though it might be hard.

One quote that reminds me to stay grateful says, according to Buddha: “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” I like this quote from Buddha very much because it states that every day at least one good thing happened, even if that one good thing is being alive.

I am very glad to be alive and that is why I try not to complain a lot. Whenever I catch myself complaining or being unhappy, I stop myself and fix the problem by looking on the bright side and being positive. What would be worse, having a bad day or dying? Every day I try to make the best of it and be positive. Sometimes I do complain, but that is why I am working on being positive and helping others achieve this also.

I believe that in a society of harsh media and a rough economy, the least I can do is try to stay positive and grateful to be alive. I am very fortunate here in America to have many necessities available and also many things that I don’t necessarily need. I am trying to stay positive and grateful and hopefully this will help our community, the world, and our lives.