This I Believe

Chad - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 17, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • 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.

Reasoning My Way Out

Without reason, I wouldn’t be telling you my story; without reason, I wouldn’t exist.

One afternoon, when I was only in fifth grade, I came home to an unwelcome greeting. The soft utterance of my mom’s tears rained down her cheeks. It was then that I knew. It was then that my perfect, unblemished world was bludgeoned with the news of my father’s death. It was in that instant, a sea of chaos flooded my mind.

What was I to do? Where was I to go?

Sure, my family was there, but they were facing the same stark reality that I just met. But, even in that despair-filled instant, I found an inner order that calmed me. It was not a clichéd voice, telling me to cheer up. Nor was it a dominating voice, telling me to end my life. It was an unfamiliar voice, veined with stern intentions and calm demeanor. And, amidst the muddled situation, it clarified my thoughts. Suddenly, I knew that I had to save the grievance for later; it would never budge from the annals of my memory.

Now, I had to remain strong, tending the deep inflictions of my household. Without a skeleton, I felt, our entire family structure would collapse into an irretrievable pile of disdain. Sifting through the different outcomes of the dilemma, I chose to sacrifice my pangs for the sake of my family, and strangely, it seemed right. I knew that everything in the world would not crumble because one person, albeit someone extremely close to my heart, had vacated this world. An overpowering voice of reason answered my desperation with a streamline of logic. It reminded me that love is powerful, but time will not yield to the misfortunes of Earth’s citizens; if it were subjected to those frictional instances, the world would be forever frozen.

And there I stood, at the face of calamity, empowered with a new type of strength, a new perspective of life. This instance of death had afforded me the chance to reanalyze my core values. It challenged me to find another foundation, to always regard reason in the highest esteem.