This I Believe

Frances - charlotte, North Carolina
Entered on September 7, 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.

Ever since I have been talking and walking, my parents have raised me to be honest, work hard, have fun, and respect others. Naturally, as a child, I believed in anything and everything my parents believed in, which meant that these points certainly got across to me. However, as I grow, these principles, as well as others, grow with me. I have discovered new beliefs such as don’t make excuses, live life to the fullest, look on the bright side of things, not everyone can always be pleased, quitters never win and winners never quit, and many, many more.

Among these principles, the statement “I believe in the journey not the arrival” (Andrew Sullivan), is one of my favorites. The journey is the reward and the arrival is just what comes after it. We go so far and wait so long for a certain point in time but then once it comes around we think about how we wish we could go back and do something different or just relive the whole experience. I have experienced this feeling for myself and for this reason I believe that living everyday as if it were my last is the wisest thing that I can do. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and this journey, the reward of life, should not be taken for granted.

My mother told me that if she could pass down five principles to me and my brothers they would be to realize that nothing in life could ever be more important than love, work hard, never take anything for granted, to always be yourself, and to always have fun. Even if my mother doesn’t flat out tell me these everyday, she reminds me of these in her own way. My mother also taught me to treat everyone with the respect I wish people to show towards me. I treat her, my father and everyone else with high respect and I don’t anticipate on ever not treating anyone with respect.

As a teenager, I stress that one of the most valuable principles to follow is that there should be fun in all aspects of life. However, when I say have fun, I don’t mean joke around all the time and not put effort into your work, but I mean to live life with joy and enthusiasm. I live by this principal everyday no doubt about it! Take this essay for example, I wrote down my beliefs as the day went on so that I could honestly say what I believed in. I quickly came to realize that life’s most significant riches don’t come as a result of winning for the glory of winning, or having a lot of money, for the sake of having a lot of cash, but happen because of how “the game” is won, and how the money is spent. I believe that the winning should be done honestly and with good sportsmanship, and the money should be shared and spent wisely. And if I follow all these principles I will be far richer than any amount of money can make me.