This I Believe

Rana - Indianola, Iowa
Entered on September 12, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Someone once said, “Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt and dance like nobody is watching!” This statement sums up my beliefs. I will tell you what that quote means to me, but first I need to tell you how I got where I am today. On Tuesday, June 16th, 1998 my life changed forever. My mother died after a long battle with cancer, I was 12 years old and in that cold hospital room I watched her take her last breath. I will never forget that moment or the strong feelings of grief that consumed me.

This traumatic event turned out to positively change my life. I realized how precious our relationships are, and that I had my priorities in life backwards. I must give God some credit, I know He has a purpose for everything that happens; I just had to figure out what this change meant for me. My faith lead me to develop my life philosophy. “Work like you don’t need the money,” to me says don’t let money be your motivation. I want to be an elementary teacher because I have a passion for helping little kids realize their potential and I want to make sure every kid knows that someone cares about them. The money is just a bonus, I will be happy because I will know that I impacted another person’s life. I believe in being passionate in your career choice, make it something you will look forward to everyday.

“Love like you’ve never been hurt,” is the most important to me. I believe that past pains only make us stronger people, they are not something that we should use as an excuse to guard our hearts. It was devastating to lose my mother but avoiding love just because I am afraid of losing that love isn’t the answer. I want to love as much as possible; it is the best gift we can give. Everyone deep down needs love and why not I be the one to show them some? My relationship with my mom showed me how powerful love is and there is no way I could live without it.

Lastly, “dance like nobody’s watching,” because who cares what other people think? I’m me, and I don’t want to be like or compare myself to everyone else on the block. I believe it is very important to learn how to be happy with who you are, and once you have, take time to dance, enjoying just being you. I won’t let doubts or insecurities consume me, because I know who I am and I don’t need the world’s approval. There is not one person on this earth who is just like me, and I take joy in that thought. And this is what I believe, work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt and dance like nobody is watching!