This I Believe

Blake - Morganville, New Jersey
Entered on September 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Everything happens for a reason. This statement is burned into our heads in times of trouble, in times of happiness, or in times of sorrow. It can be applied to almost any situation. I have always tried to convince myself of its validity but I am not easily persuaded. Instead I have chosen to believe that things are going to happen that we can not change and we just have to accept it and deal with the consequential events.

Almost seven months ago, a good friend of mine, Carol, was shot and killed along side her best friend by her schoolmate’s jealous ex-boyfriend. Was there a reason for this? Was their a reason for these two 20 year old girls to be killed before they even got a chance to live their lives? Had they done something so bad that they, their families, and their friends deserved to suffer such a tragic loss? It’s a hard notion to accept. Instead I’ve chosen to believe that things like this will just happen in life for no reason at all. They just do. It’s a simple fact. Rather than trying to tie some concocted reason around it, you just have to take what happens and use it for something. That something can be joining an organization, writing a book, taking up a new a hobby, or even just sharing your story with others in order to make a difference.

Carol was an amazing person. She had this huge incredible smile that has always been hard to forget. Whenever I am feeling down, or nervous, or upset I can just picture her smile and it makes me feel a little bit better. In dealing with her death, I have come to accept that you can not change the past and you can not prevent something from happening. I have learned to believe that life is what you make of it. You never know what is going to happen since no one can predict the future.

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. I believe this is a good motto to live by. It doesn’t even need to be gourmet lemonade. You don’t need to start an organization or become president. Just be more aware and change something. Clearly no one is perfect and you can not change other people. You can only control yourself and sometimes that is even hard to master. After Carol’s death, I find myself thinking a lot more about my actions and how they will affect other people. I find myself being a little more patient with others and I am more conscious of the words that come out of my mouth. I try not to fight with my friends over petty nonsense because you just never know if those will be the last words you say to them. This is my lemonade. I am not changing the world but even if I have affected one other person than I feel like have done something.