This I Believe

Samantha - Orem, Utah
Entered on May 24, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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A sign reads, “Fresh Lemonade” and it has caught my eye. I am on an evening stroll to basically mule over the difficulties in my life that seem to have no solution. The sign draws me over the stand, so I can quench my thirst. Yet, when I get there I see no lemonade. I’m confused. The person “selling” the lemonade tells me, “believe in yourself, that’ll make life sweet.” I chuckle and think, ‘Sure, that’ll just make things go so much better…’ and walk off, without a second thought. I have heard so many people say that and now, it’s old. I forget to think that it could help me through my trails.

Someone once told me that, “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Then one day I used it: because life had given me lemons, and I didn’t know what to do. Sixth grade was going horrible. I was losing my friends daily because I wasn’t “cool” enough. Then that cliché came to mind. I went to work, looking for sugar and I found a reason for the sorrows that surrounded me—I needed to learn what true friends were, the ones that lift you up, and I did. Seventh grade I had amazing friends, the ones who lift you up, all because of one cliché.

This is why I believe in the power of clichés. If they have stuck around this long, and so many people use them, they must have knowledge wrapped inside of them.

The next lemon I faced was that of everyday people. I don’t always see eye to eye with my neighbor. Like last Thursday, instead of addressing the matter calmly, she yelled at my family for letting my dog out into the neighborhood.. I let my bitter mood take over and ignored her. Then my mom gave me the ingredients for lemonade– “Let sleeping dogs lay.” If it doesn’t matter, just let the problem go. She told me I didn’t need to win every fight, all I really need to do was let it lay, and it would solve itself.

My whole life people would offer some of these simple clichés as solutions to my trails and all I would think was, “Yeah, I’ve never heard that before.” They were annoying, I had heard them so many times. Eventually one day, though, I listened. I honestly listened for, probably, the first time in my life. Help came instantly. I knew what to do. Being told that I was “better than that.” I went to my psychology teacher and said sorry for not stopping the kids from cheating on the last assignment. I took the steps to follow that cliché. Just like making lemonade.

Why would everyone around me use clichés if they didn’t hold some strengthening value? So even though I’ve heard them many times the next time someone tells me, “laughing is the best medicine,” I’ll listen. I’ll listen because I believe in the power of clichés.