This I Believe

Marrissa - Tonganoxie, Kansas
Entered on May 15, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Life is Too Short

On February 27, 2006, my grandpa was killed in a car accident. After weeks of grieving, my family finally realized that this tragic event happened for a reason. Is the pain gone? No. Have we forgotten? Absolutely not. Will we go on with our lives? Yes. Even though this horrible event took a part of my family’s lives away, we know that we have to stay strong, that we have to keep living. This is a perfect example as to why I believe that life is too short to waste it being rude, hurting others, and ultimately, hurting yourself.

Think about it. If you were taken tomorrow, how would you be remembered? I have thought about this quite often, and I most definitely try to incorporate this question into my thoughts and actions. It helps me, as a person, be kinder and more respectful. There is not one human on the face of this earth that is perfect. Everyone will have their times when they are snobby, rude sarcastic, or in some other way obnoxious. This alone, does not mean we shouldn’t try to act our best and be our friendliest. There is no excuse for anyone as to why they can’t be kind.

Going back to my grandpa’s accident, I’ve often wondered if he had anything he regretted. That I will never know, but I do know how I felt. I wasn’t always the kindest person, and there were many things I didn’t like about him. I never once regretted how I acted or felt until I found out that he was one. Those things I didn’t agree with, that I didn’t like, suddenly lost value. You see, I centered my whole relationship with him solely on the things I didn’t like about him, which made our relationship difficult and full of tension.

I don’t want anyone to misunderstand me when I say that, because to his face I was kind, as was he, and I had always loved him. After all, he was a part of my family. Our bad relationship ran deep though and I was only rude when we were apart. After the accident, I wished that I could go back and we could have made our relationship stronger. It could have made things so much easier on both of us. Of course, I can’t do that, and I will never be able to. This is the exact reason I feel so strongly about this. For the most part, I didn’t think much about it until my grandpa died. Even though my life wasn’t taken, and I am not the one who is just a memory, it still hurts the same.

In conclusion, all I have to say is that you should be kinder to people. Ask yourself “How would this person remember me if I died, or would they even care?” In some cases it may be even more important to ask yourself “How would I feel if I said this and this person was taken away?” This could be asked in situations much like mine with loved ones, or close friends even. You never know when your time or anyone else’s time is, only God does. Just be mindful of how you treat others.