This I Believe

Thomas - Shirley, Arkansas
Entered on January 23, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

You’ve probably heard the saying, “He went to the school of hard knocks.” And if you look around you might see people that respond to their feelings and beliefs in less than positive ways because of experiences, circumstances and situations that have impacted them in a bad way.

I can certainly relate to this. As an abused child from a “broken home”, I was out on my own at the early age of 13. I didn’t even run away, I walked away, was never reported missing and never looked back. It was seventeen more years before I ever even saw a living relative again. Most of those years were spent in soup kitchens, sleeping on park benches and bushes in the park, totally without a home, and doing a lot of thinking. A lot of thinking.

I thought about my “lot in life”. I questioned why life had dealt me the cards it had. I looked around and saw people participating in life and I felt sad for my own situation.

Through it all, no matter what had happened to me or how it had happened, or at who’s hand it had happened I believed in something and held it close to me. I believed that my fate or path in life was no ones fault particularly and that whatever I was to find, achieve and get out of life would be up to me entirely to accomplish.

I learned however, that this was only partially true. I learned that indeed, what we get from life is totally within our control to achieve and is our responsibility. I also learned that despite what we may see or hear, most people are inherently good and willing to help those that are willing to help themselves. All it takes really is the willingness to help yourself and the patience to stick to it. The hard part I think is the patience to stick to it, despite the fall we might take or the barriers we might face. Think about that.

But it is belief in yourself that to me is the most important ingredient you could ever have. I believed in myself. I never gave up believing in myself. No matter what happened I told myself I was worth believing in and I refused to take the easy road.

Today I am 47 years old and I live in a very nice home, own my own business helping and teaching others how to be successful and have even enrolled in college to get a degree in my chosen field.

Once a homeless, seventh grade dropout, without direction, family or seemingly any chance of hope even, today a successful member of society having learned the lessons taught in the school of hard knocks.

Never give up. Always believe in yourself. You are worth believing in. This, I believe.