This I Believe

John - Oklahoma
Entered on January 31, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks
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I Believe in the “Little Things”

It is cliché, however when I review my life, it really is the little things in life that make a big difference. These “little things”, I noticed, can range from telling someone how much you care about them to putting on your seatbelt. I sat trying to write about what I believe and thinking that I had to write about my faith or something profound that others will read. So, I began to write about traumatic events that changed my life and realized that in almost every single one of them, it was what seemed like an insignificant thing at the time that really affected the outcome of a situation. For instance, I was involved in a near fatal car accident while being a reckless teen. I was riding with a friend that had fireworks in his car and he decided that he was going to shoot fireworks out his window. I held onto the wheel and drove from the passenger seat. I let go thinking he had the wheel, but he did not and we hit a telephone pole going over 50 mph. Before I even got in the car, another friend asked me if I wanted to ride with him but I ignored the offer. Had I gotten in the other car, the accident would have never happened. There was also a time when I was getting ready for a football game and I did not stretch as well as I should have. As I was going through drills, I tore my ACL. Because I did not take just a few minutes to go through a little stretching routine, I suffered for six months in rehabilitation. However, the worst is when a little thing can cause serious illness. My mother and I had a very turbulent relationship for many years. I look back and realize how much stress I had caused her over stupid things that meant nothing. She was an incredibly fit and healthy woman until our relationship deteriorated. My mother began to notice something was very wrong and was diagnosed with cancer. I did a lot of research on cancer and it has been proven that stress can be a cause for a weakened immune system. I cannot help but think that maybe if I had just shut my mouth or let her have the last word, she may not have contracted the cancer. I realized after that that small things like getting the last word, telling someone you love them, or even choosing a safer car can keep disastrous events from occurring. These events have helped me to become a more understanding and better friend, son, and person overall by humbling me through these experiences.