This I Believe

Kelly - Littleton, Colorado
Entered on November 19, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

What is fear? In fact, is fear something we can describe in words? Throughout my entire life I have, and will continue, to meet others that possess various trivial fears, and usually one ultimate fear. One that lies hidden in the depths of our memory. Many of us will not even realize such fears until they’ve been fulfilled. And though fear is most often regarded as the fatal flaw that renders us vulnerable, I believe it is something precious, and necessary. Without fear, bravery would be nonexistent. Without bravery to overcome, success would also be nonexistent. The list continues, but it all winds down to one ultimate principal: fear allows humans to experience life. I remember when my only goal was to become a prima ballerina. Determined, I attended ballet lessons every week and worked my tail off with such enthusiasm only children have. And finally the performance arrived. My fears of failure and embarrassment before the performance ended my childhood dream forever. I have not taken ballet lessons since; though it has been seven years, even the memory of that fear repulses me. Thus it has abolished my opportunity to experience ballet once more. Life went on, and soon I became a little pianist, proud of my ability to play rather shrill songs. Again, a performance was to be held for my teacher’s students to flaunt their music. I couldn’t help but feel the pit of my stomach twist with anxiety. However, this time around, I did something different. Sitting up there on stage performing for a grand total of 16 parents, my hands sweating and stomach doing some pretty amazing gymnastics, I decided that no matter what, I would maintain this passion. I kept my silent promise, and for almost eight years I have continued to learn piano. Each performance I feel that fear but I overcome it each time. We must consider that even in history, those who have incredible achievements, and those who are found in textbooks drove past an obstacle or fear that others had failed to suppress. Harriet Tubman in her quest to free slaves overpowered the ominous threat of capture, for example. These little miracles happen every day, whether it is minor or significant. We must fear in order to conquer, and that is essential to experiencing life. I think of it as diving from a cliff. You can either let the fear prevent you from jumping, or you can conquer. Despite the risk of jumping, it is not what is at the end that matters so much as the experience of the fall.