This I Believe

Hillary Betzen - Fordland, Missouri
Entered on May 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: hope, nature


I believe in sunflowers. A sunflower is named for its ability to follow the sun throughout the day. The large, golden flower follows the light and never falters.

In my short life I have seen many tragedies. Sometimes they are personal and only felt by few; a betrayal, a loved one dying. Sometimes the tragedies are so huge they affect an entire nation, an entire world; suicide bombers, school shootings, war. But all of the pain is real. And everyone must face it at sometime. I have seen numerous friends around me affected by such tragedies, but I have also seen them prevail though them. I believe that people can always find the courage to go on. They will find and follow their own light to help them through their days.

Whenever disasters strike our country such as September 11th or Hurricane Katrina I am forever amazed at the national unity encompasses all Americans. After these tragedies many felt that life could not go on. The people directly affected obviously suffered the most, but as I watched on my television scenes of people drowning in the floods or jumping off of the World Trade Center I too did not see how we could get through. But thousands of people came to the aid of those in need, and I saw that as a light through the darkness. Humankind always manages to see through pain and suffering. Like a sunflower they see a light, a hope, and follow it.

When I learned about the shooting at Virginia Tech. I was as horrified as the rest of the country. I could not understand how such cruelty and malice could exist. The entire nation was affected by the incident. Darkness had enveloped the nation. But through the shadows people found a light to follow. The students of Virginia Tech. bonded together and prevailed through the horror. I too realized that life goes on, and I found my own hope to pursue just as a sunflower pursues the sun.

Yes, tragedies, pain, and suffering are all too real for us. But so is hope. So are sunflowers.