This I Believe

Lesley - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Entered on April 26, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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What’s Your Worth?

“Beep-beep-beep” goes the whistle, “Rescue 18! Rescue 18!” The moment was here, it had finally come. Snapping into automatic mode, I launched off my stand, grabbing the safety buoy I threw the strap around my head and plunged into the unrelentless surf. Adrenaline rushing; I pushed my way through the waves and grabbed the flailing arms of the panicking victim. The undertow was strong, but my unwavering strength and knowledge of the sea persevered leading me and the victim to safety on the shore. As I made my way back to my stand, I wrapped the strap around the safety buoy and set it in its place, I climbed the ladder to sit and wait for the sea to try and claim another.

Looking back, I have to think, if I hadn’t been there, if I had given up on my training, that person may not be alive. I did that, I saved that person’s life, thank my stars I didn’t listen to my mother. When I told my family I was going to become a lifeguard they laughed. My mother told me I couldn’t do it. I asked her why and she told me “I wasn’t able to do it, so you won’t be able to do it.” I could have listened, but I didn’t.

Being stubborn and always wanting to prove my point, I signed up for the class anyway and finished at the top. Thank goodness I believe in myself and ignore negativity.

I wanted to go to college and become a teacher; once again I was laughed at. Once again I was told that though it is a respectable career, there was no money to be made and I should choose something else. I didn’t listen. I’m not quite finished with my degree, but I do work as a teacher assistant in physical education. Getting to know my students has been a joy and my most important lesson I teach is to always believe in your self. My students have realized that trying to succeed is better than not giving any effort at all. They have also learned they can accomplish almost anything if they just believe they can achieve it.

Ludwig Van Beethoven, one of the greatest musical composers, went deaf at the age of twenty eight. Instead of giving up his ambition to compose music, he believed enough in himself to create over one hundred pieces. Beethoven believed he could compose and so he did.

Think about how many times you turn on a light. If Thomas Edison had given up on himself for failing 1000 times while creating the light bulb, you would not have that light to see by. Every piece of technology, every little detail in life was made possible by strong willed people believing in their self and not allowing the negativity around them to stand in their way.

As the school year comes to an end the students and teachers face the Standards of Learning tests. My new duty is to help tutor students in the third, fourth and fifth grades to help prep them for their tests. This duty was set up because the administration and teachers believe the students need extra help to succeed in their testing. I noticed the students were anxious and many of them believed they couldn’t pass.

Walking the halls of negativity, I tried to figure out the best way to turn their belief of failure to a belief of success. I sat with my students and asked them what they believed they can achieve. I had one student tell me he didn’t believe he could pass because he was too stupid. I asked him if he believed he was stupid and he said no. I told him I believed he could pass, but he would have to believe it as well. This was several weeks ago, and since then, he is always the first to answer my review questions and most of the time he gets the answer right. This morning I asked him if he thought he would pass the test and he said yes. When I asked him why he replied, “Because I believe I can.”