This I Believe

Ori - Owings Mills, Maryland
Entered on November 30, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in living life to the fullest. In a world where everything has a time-limit, and in a world where the pressure mounts to “be all you can be”, I believe that everyone must take a step back and live like today might become your last.

One and a half years ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. For a while, no one knew what was happening: Was it life-threatening or benign? After a month of not knowing what was going to happen, her doctors finally had the results. She would need surgery, eighteen weeks of chemotherapy and five weeks of radiation but, in the end, she would be okay.

From June to October, she was forced to stop working because she was so tired and, some weeks, she couldn’t even get out of bed. It became a life-altering experience for our family. Yet, throughout those difficult months, my mother’s attitude remained optimistic. When she felt well enough, she spent time with us or did what she loved to do. She continues to do that today and has altered her lifestyle. Working less and spending more time with the people she loves, my mother realizes that she cannot dwell on what has happened to her or what could happen to her in the future. She understands that she must live today because she does not know what will happen to her tomorrow.

This is a presupposition that I am trying to adapt to my life. I strive not to let the unimportant in life bother me and I do everything in my power not to become angry about inconsequential acts. I do not pass up on something that I want to do and I savor what I love the most. I aim at prioritizing the important things in life and comprehending that nothing is permanent and everything is temporary. I believe that the well-known adage, “stop and smell the roses,” really sums up what I accept as true. One must stop and re-prioritize his life every once in a while so he can do the things that he enjoys most. As a family, we are enjoying ourselves more, fighting less, and leading happier lives. We have taken a negative experience and turned it into a positive one. Since we have adopted this new way of life, we took a vacation to Israel; a place where my Israeli father hadn’t visited in fifteen years. We also vacationed in Tucson, AZ where our family friends had moved. Both of these trips allowed us a chance to visit people and places that we cherish. We realize that we cannot afford to put off what we feel is important to do.

In March of 2005, could I have expected how different our family’s life would be today? Do I know what will happen in the future? Should people worry about the seemingly significant yet superficial in life and bank on a better tomorrow? Why wait for that uncertain tomorrow? This I believe.