This I Believe

Kevin - Vista, California
Entered on June 7, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

I believe in exercising self-control. Human Beings are unique from other animals because of their ability to display self-control when dealing with adverse situations. Too often is this trait forgotten by many and it usually results in fear, animosity, and hatred. Utilizing self-control can be instrumental in turning a potentially negative situation into one that allows to you become a better person.

Exercising self-control helped me overcome the greatest obstacle I have ever faced in my life and allowed me to build individual character qualities. When I was fourteen-years-old, I broke the growth plate in my shoulder during a baseball game. My arm hung like a dead limb at the side of my body for nearly a week, unable to be voluntarily moved. Even after ten months and countless hours of physical therapy, I never regained the ability to throw a baseball.

This incident was a crushing blow, as I had played organized sports, particularly baseball, since I was three-years-old and had expected to earn an athletic scholarship for college. Unfortunately, my athletic aspirations vanished in one night. After a brief time of wallowing in my sorrow, I realized that my reaction to this challenge ultimately would define what kind of person I would become. The only way for me to come back from an injury of this magnitude was to show an enormous amount of self-control and discipline. For four months I worked in physical therapy to get my arm ready for the freshman baseball tryouts. I realized at the first day of tryouts that my shoulder could not hold up for more than a few throws. Unfortunately, it was my inability to throw, as the coach so succinctly put, which prevented me from making the team. Again, I was forced to show self-control in order to overcome this obstacle. And again, it helped me do so.

I built up a strong sense of ambition and perseverance and an ability to react level-headed towards unfortunate circumstances. I began to channel this towards other aspects of my life, primarily academics and music. The lessons I learned from this experience helped me grow as a student and become a well-rounded person.

In addition, I incorporate the values of self-control that I learned into my daily life. I don’t overreact to largely insignificant events that can upset people and I usually don’t panic when something goes wrong, whether it be a homework assignment, project, or sporting activity. If I make a mistake, I’ll learn from it. If something goes wrong that I can’t fix, then it’s not worth worrying about, but I will always try to solve problems that can be solved.

Self-control is necessary when reacting to negative situations. I believe that exercising self-control help develop other character traits in people and is a vital part of creating a more improved world.