This I Believe

Jordyn - Lagrange Park, Illinois
Entered on September 27, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I Believe

I was absolutely dreading even approaching this essay for I had no idea what I believed in. I had been struggling for days trying to find something I felt passionate about, but whatever I came up with seemed to feel forced and generic.

It was not until my mother came home from yet another battle about where my grandmother should live that I recognized something in which I strongly believed. When she was telling us what had happened, she was so distraught over how people could be so cruel to someone they claimed to love. Seeing that my mom had had several dealings with these people, I didn’t understand her reaction, and the fact that her expectations were yet again unfulfilled. When I tried to comfort her, I told her that this is why I choose to have low expectations of people. Having said this, I then realized my comment was something that I strongly believed in.

Having low expectations of people’s behavior and situations seems to have helped me through life, because I am rarely disappointed with people and their actions or when disappointing situations unfold. This belief allows me to be surprised frequently and disappointed rarely.

My belief does not only pertain to having low expectations of people. It also stretches to events. For example, let’s just say you are going to a party; you hardly know any people there and you happen to be going alone. You could go into the party thinking it will be a blast and you will have a great time, but then you end up sitting in the corner talking to no one and feeling very let down with the way things worked out. If you had just gone into the party with no expectations, you might have had a better time because you didn’t set a standard for how things were going to work out. If you didn’t have a good time, you would not feel that disappointed because you were not expecting anything fabulous.

I don’t know if I was born with this outlook on life or if, over the past years, I have developed it through my experiences. Some may say this view is pessimistic and that I shouldn’t be looking at life in such a negative light, but I do not see this as being pessimistic but rather as being realistic. Additionally, I view it as a survival skill that everyone could adopt in order to better cope with the ups and downs that we as human beings endure everyday of our lives.