This I Believe

Jesse - Gering, Nebraska
Entered on June 14, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

Proud to Be Alive

I believe that everyone was born with a reason to walk tall, and that reason is, simply, the fact that they were born. Life is the greatest blessing we’re given, but the wonder of it is missing if you never see the sky. People say that you look down when in despair, but I think the reason that I’m in despair is because I’m looking down.

During the summer 2001, after I had finished the fourth grade, I was experiencing a pain in my leg when I walked, and when all was said and done I was diagnosed with a bone tumor in my left leg. This single event in my life would lead me have a number of surgeries, both major and minor, and multiple other health trials and impairments. One such impairment was being on crutches for almost three years.

However, before I would take my first step solo of walking aides, I was diagnosed once again with a separate form of cancer, a lymphoma, in my lungs in the seventh grade.

Nevertheless, with the help of God, I made it through and was declared completely cancer free in November 2005, and ever since those trying experiences in my life, I have always made an effort to walk tall.

I learned to respect myself during that period and the life that I’m given because life is the greatest gift of all. I’m given a body to take care of and relationships to nurture. People care for me, and the knowledge of that is one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had.

Every time that I see some one meandering through life, slouched and despairing, I pity them. I pity them because they are not seeing all the beauty of the world around them that I have learned to appreciate so much. They aren’t see the love that’s everywhere in the world around them. They aren’t see everything that I see because they don’t walk tall.

It’s almost impossible to respect others or for others to respect you if you have no respect for yourself, and you can never love some one if you can’t respect them. Likewise, I’m not in any way being cocky when I stand and walk tall. To walk tall is a sign of the self-respect that I have for myself as a human being; it shows everyone I meet that I love life and am thankful for every breath. Regardless of who you are, where you’re from, and what happens throughout your life’s journey, I hope that you walk tall and see the wonder of the world around you.