This I Believe

Robert - Washington, Missouri
Entered on May 17, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Life’s Not a Game in My Closet

When I was a kid I never wondered about life and its intricacies. I had been taught everything I needed to know about life from a board game in my closet. Who could argue with Milton Bradley’s estimation of a person’s existence? You start at the beginning as a child, go to school, get a job, raise a family, and the first one to the mansion at the end wins. After all your work and risk taking that either amasses you great wealth and prosperity or financial ruin and humiliation you pack the game up in its box, put it back in the closet, and that’s it, your Life is over, the end.

This generalization of life, although seeming to cover most the basic steps a person takes in life, falls short of what I believe life to be. I believe life is more than where I go to school, what job I have or how much money I can make — and if I can do it all faster than the next guy. I believe life is experiences and how I grow through those experiences, how I learn from them, how they shape me as an individual and how I use the knowledge acquired to make future experiences better, not only for myself but for that other guy and for anyone who plays the game after me.

The only way to learn from each experience is to have an open mind, not accept everything that comes along but to learn from it whether it be good or bad. Even a bad experience can have a positive effect on my life, if I can approach it with an open mind and achieve some form of understanding for the next situation. Any experience, no matter what it is, will be in vain if it is only wasted on the moment in which it takes place. It is the learning itself that constitutes growth as a person, growth into a person who can make an impact.

That is the person I want to be, the one who does make an impact. Life is not just a game in my closet; I’m not competing with everyone else to see if I can become the most successful first. I’m living to make the game better for everyone through my experiences. Whether what I do helps one or one hundred fellow players across that finish line, regardless of where I end up, I’ve won and there is no better feeling than that.