This I Believe

Sayeef - Tampa, Florida
Entered on December 10, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that optimism is the key to success. I have learned that there is no possible way of living a life of happiness and joy with constant negativity and hostility. Optimism is the remedy of all my problems. Optimism shines light on my perspectives. Optimism is the initiator of my motivation, the catalyst of my achievement, the impetus of my transformation. I love life for its prosperity not for its adversity. Therefore, I have come to live by the urban saying, “its all good in the hood.”

I wasn’t born with this belief, I had to learn it. During my middle school years, I was very cynical, quick to note my flaws and failures. Having a restrained attitude, I would lash out with my subdued emotions at home. I would always exclaim, “Why me!” One day, just when things couldn’t get any worse, I went to my mom in submission, “You were right Mom, life is unfair.” With a compassionate composure, she enlightened me of all the good things in life. She reminded me, “Always be thankful for what you have, because there are others that would give up their lives for the life we enjoy.” She would always repeat the common list of things I tend to take for granted, from the obvious, my family, my house, my education, my life, to the subtle, my eyes, my ears, my hands, my legs.

I soon realized I do actually have the advantage, the benefit, and the opportunity. That day, I went through a crucial reality check. Life is not worth complaining about. From the homeless on the streets without a dollar in his wallet, to the war veteran amputees dependent on meager pensions, to the destruction of the innocence and purity of those undeserving, to the deaths of civilians in belligerent nations, to the heartbroken families with lost loved ones, to the blind, the deaf, the disabled; there will always be a worst situation, a tragedy, a void of hopelessness. It is the ever-increasing list of misfortunes and calamities that I always refer to when faced with my own personal hardships.

Ever since then, I have always viewed complaining as an act of ignorance. I remember being like that, unaware of the many injustices people serve daily throughout the world. Gaining such a perspective has helped me with all my problems. I treat any difficulty with ease. At times, I laugh at the thought of complaining about my problems. At Midnight, as piles and piles of homework tower over me, my friend calls my cell. “Whatsup man, how’s it going?” I respond confidently, “It’s all good in the hood.” This, I believe.