This I Believe

Joanne - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 12, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, love
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The Most Precious Possessions

The most precious possessions cannot be seen or felt. They are not material. They reside on our hearts and heads. They are our memories.

For centuries, the mere memory of events has inspired fighting men to victory. Recall the battle cries of “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember the Maine!” Even now, soldiers fight in Iraq and the Middle East in memory of September 11, 2001.

At the heart of every human lies memory. It is through memory we learn to live and to love. By remembering events in our lives, their outcomes, and in cases the trouble we got into, we learn the morals and ideals by which we live our lives. By remembering what others have done or failed to do for us, we learn to love.

Our memories define us. When I was little, my younger brother and I were “best friends.” We did all kinds of things together, like picking the tomatoes off the plants in the backyard and having a war with them, making certain during the battle that we coated our hair and clothes with tomato juice and pulp and stepped on every inch of the planted garden. We also held a battle in the living room with some clear, flavored water. We still have the sugar-spotted couches and lampshade, and it took about two shampooings to get the spots out of the carpet. The first day of Kindergarten, crying as my mom left me in the much-anticipated classroom. Telling the vision assessor that “I know the top letter is ‘E’” on the day I found out I needed glasses. Getting ice particles blown in my face the first time I tried to hop off a ski lift. Battling brambles and incurring a huge cut as my cousin and I explore the creek by his house. The day I broke my arm. The entire week I spent with my cousins. Camping. Playing Raptor-tag with my cousins. All these memories are a part of me, a part I would never give up, a possession that cannot be taken from me except by time.

Although I may want them, I don’t need any of the things I have at home. I just need my most precious possessions: my memories. This I believe.