I am the person I am today because of three experiences that have been very important and influential in my life. I will remember these hard times and experiences that I have lived through or have been told about. I do not sulk on these hard times though. I will live my life to the fullest and make it the best life possible. I truly do believe that those who are less fortunate in life, but have a goal in mind, tend to make a better life for themselves and live a good life full of happiness. Determination. That is what sets those who are less fortunate ahead of those who get everything they want. There are many instances in which my belief is shown through my life experiences.
The stories told to me by my father about his childhood created the person I am today because it had a tremendous effect on me. His childhood was full of struggles and hard times, but with a strong mind and determination in his blood, my father grew up to become a great man. My father would often fight for bread with his seven other siblings. The only way out was by getting a job and working hard. When my father was in his early teens my grandfather would tell him to put his arm up to the table for an arm-wrestle. After my grandfather slammed my father’s hand to the table he looked him in the eyes and said, “What are you going to be…a man or a mouse?” Another great quote from my grandfather that helped my father become the man he is to this day was, “Show me who you hang with, I’ll tell you who you are.” The character and attitude that my grandfather ingrained in my father has carried him through his life and has now become ingrained in my head. At the time when drugs were all around my father and his friends, he decided to get away and joined the Marines. In the Marines he learned many life lessons that he has now taught to me.
The biggest situation in my life in which I have had to apply the aspects of life that my dad’s childhood taught me, was when my parents divorced. I was so hurt and sad, but I loved them both the same still. Growing up in this environment, I became self-reliable. I thought about my future and mapped out what I want to do with my life. Not only will I be sure to never split a family apart and never try to hurt a person I loved, but I want to be a professional soccer player and I have the will and determination and the heart to become this all because of what my past taught me. When I was younger I spent many nights wishing and praying that my parents would get back together. As I matured I let go and realized that the divorce made me into the person I truly am. The divorce of my parents, believe it or not, made me into a better person with strong determination and the heart for the sport I love, which is soccer. I can relate with other kids, who are poor but have a goal in mind to help them through life, from all over the world.
After meeting a Brazilian boy, on a vacation to Ireland, I know how hard life truly is for the people in South America. Life does not come easy and the small children of Brazil have one thing in mind to get out of the slums. The only way for them to do so, is to become a professional soccer player. Through strong mind and determination, the Brazilians prevail in becoming professionals all over the world because they want to get out of poverty.
Those who are less fortunate, and have a goal in life, work and strive harder than those who are more fortunate and well off. I believe that those who have to conquer or overcome an obstacle in their life are more likely to work hard and be successful, in comparison to those who have everything handed to them their whole life. Through my life experiences, I have discovered that, in life, it’s not always the best that will win something, but it is the “hungriest”, the one who wants it the most. Those who come from nothing are always the “hungriest” because they have nothing going for them, but they are determined to make a better life for themselves in the future.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.