This I Believe

Jasper - Calistoga, California
Entered on June 5, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work
  • 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.

I Believe in Digging

I am a firm believer in digging. Ever since I was a youngster, I have

dug many holes, mostly in my own backyard. I guess I started digging

when my father was planting a baby tree in our backyard to provide

shade for the house. Without him saying anything I just picked up the

shovel and began poking at the already dug hole. I was very young at

the time and couldn’t contribute much to the hole digging effort.

Instead I started my own small hole. I was moving spoonfuls rather

than the shovelfuls but I still saw progress with every scoop. It was

that day that I began my belief in digging.

As I grew older, I became more and more capable of handling a

full-size shovel. However, the yard couldn’t support any more trees,

it was full. Yes, I was bummed, but still anxious to display my

newfound ability to dig. Consequently, I proposed to my father that

we, or I, build a fishpond in the front yard of our house. I don’t

remember his response, but I don’t think it would’ve mattered anyhow.

I planned out as much as I could in the thirty seconds it took me to

grab my shovel and then I started digging. I dug and I dug for minutes

on end. I fell tired more quickly then I planned, but that was not a

problem, I started my project and that’s all I needed. I was nine

years old then and everyday after school I would dig for at least

fifteen minutes. I was still small and easily exhausted, but each day

I saw the hole become wider and deeper and soon enough I could hide

myself in its depths. When it was complete the massive depression in

the earth was seven feet long, three feet wide, and three feet deep.

Sixty-three cubic feet of dirt is a lot of dirt, but by doing a little

each day, I was able to motivate myself with each shovelful, knowing I

was one shovelful closer to completion.

I believe in digging, because I believe in progress. With each

shovelful of dirt, the hole deepens, the pile grows, and you are one

step closer to accomplishing your goal.

With progress you can accomplish anything and for that, I believe in digging.