This I Believe

JooYeol - Washington, District of Columbia
Entered on September 15, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in enjoying. As a boy, I struggled to socialize with others because I fought with everyone. Then, my father gave me a lesson which totally changed my life. The lesson was nothing but a word, “Enjoy”.

When I entered Elementary School, I could not get along with other kids because of my hostility. On the second day of school, I knocked two front teeth out of a second grader. My teacher then slapped my face in front of all my classmates. I was extremely angry and embarrassed. I fought almost everyday. I wanted to show defiance to the teacher. I totally hated school. One day, I was on my way out to school wearing a frown, and as my father was walking out the door with me to go to work, he greeted me in a different manner than usual. “Enjoy, son” was what he said. When I first heard him, I said to myself, ‘What do you mean enjoy? School is no fun.’ However, he kept the greeting for about a year and by listening to him saying it everyday, I actually started to consider what he said and tried to fix my problems. I tried to be friendly. I tried to have fun. I worked hard in school. Even when the teacher yelled at me, I took it as an encouragement. Even when I lost in a soccer game, I smiled. After several years, I found myself running to school every morning just dying to see my friends as soon as possible, and asking my mom if I could bring my friends over to my house after school. I started to think that school is one of the most fun places in the world. I never even thought that it was possible to have fun in school, but my father’s everyday comment changed my attitude significantly. Since I learned how to enjoy, I have become a kid with energy, confidence and outgoing personality. My father, by telling me to enjoy everything I do, gave me the perspective to have positive attitudes on things I do, and to think positively. His daily comment has become my motto these days, and I always try to be positive even in the most desperate situations.

As a freshman in college, I realize that now is the time for me to prepare myself to face the real world. If I keep a firm and positive attitude, I know I am ready to take the big step forward as a student, and as a young adult. Even if the word ‘enjoy’ seems just as simple as the word ‘hello’, hearing the word daily through my childhood gave me the most important lesson of my life. I believe that if I keep enjoying, I will keep developing as a person.