This I Believe

Alexis - Waltham, Massachusetts
Entered on March 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

The number of paths a person may take in life is limitless. Opportunity affects this greatly, but the main factors are the amount of risk a person is willing to take and, especially, the degree of passion he or she is willing to put into fulfilling goals and pursuing dreams. Making a living differs from making a life. I believe the dividing line between them is spontaneity and a will to succeed. To make a living is to provide for food and clothing. However, I believe to make a life stretches beyond a paycheck, becoming the act of living life with passion.

Living with a sense of energy and fulfilling one’s job is priceless compared to earning a paycheck simply to support one’s self or family. Hard work and determination are important in making a life, but the key is the love for what one is doing. I have a friend named Debbie who is a lawyer. However, I see her as a person who truly takes pride in defending innocent children by standing up for their rights. She works in courts, at her practice, and visits those she is defending. However, because of the love she has of her work, that work strays away from being a job, to becoming her life. I believe that to make a life means to incorporate what you love into daily life, helping others lead better lives as well. A persona may earn a paycheck pay check to support oneself or family. However, when a job is well done, as in Debbie’s case, a paycheck becomes a token of gratitude for the life they have led.

To lead a better life means to reach out to others as well. In Acton, my cousin’s dance instructor was able to make both a living and a life. For twenty years she touched many people’s lives by running performances, instructing, and especially doing what she loved. I was able to see two of her productions. She helped people from age six to age sixteen dance. From costumes to the dancing itself, both shows I witnessed were fabulous. Unfortunately, this woman passed away from Cancer in January 2007, leaving not only four children but also many dancers, and even a whole town. Her job was able to transform into her way of life. By dancing, she has helped people by pursuing what she loved to do as well.

I believe that to be better people, we should constantly be pushing ourselves to the best of our ability. In this way, many of our goals will be achieved. A personal example of mine is working my hardest in school. I find that with diligence and determination, I am able to do my personal best, working hard at maintaining good grades, but also maintaining a love for learning. In my experience, I have realized that to do well, one doesn’t have to be a genius. However, the will to improve is vital to progress as not only as a student but also as an individual.

I believe that to make a life means living to one’s fullest, working to expand knowledge and exceeding personal limits. However, it also means weaving a unique sense of energy into daily life. Relating to my own experiences and the experiences of others, I think that the true dividing line between making a life and living one, is the pursuit to achieve goals, maintaining a will to succeed. As determination becomes greater, inspiration transforms into a living. With passion, a living is then enabled to take one step further, becoming a way of life.