This I Believe

Kristapor - Anaheim, California
Entered on November 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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Consider This

Over the past few months I have been intrigued by the thought of not existing. It’s an odd daydream, I know, but sometimes when I’m bored in class I can’t help but think about it. Death has a curious way of creeping up on the psyche. I often think to myself, what would happen if one day I suddenly dropped dead? How would they remember me, my friends and family, and all who I have never met, if…? I imagine the scenario, each time a different cause for cessation, however the overall outcome is the same. In order to know the outcome, however, one must know themselves. One must look back meticulously at ones life, and relive it, to understand how they will be remembered.

When looking back at the short 16 and a half years that I’ve had on this earth, I quickly tally up the good points and the bad, the ones that would earn me a Snickers and the ones that would earn me a sneaker up the ass (ed. note “kick in the butt”?). I carefully review all the friends I’ve made, evaluate them, how I treated them and vice- versa. I move on to school and start sifting though this heavy stack, looking for any and all discrepancies. A cheat or a scam here, a friendly game of basketball there, anything that could go on the scoreboard. I dwell for a bit on old girlfriends, past romances. I wonder how I could have treated them better, and if that could have preserved our relationship for even just a day longer. I observe all my encounters and interactions, all my business and transactions, every argument, every agreement, every apology. I recall every time I was a friend when no one else was, and try to forget every time I abandoned someone who needed me. I disapprove of my demerits, and take pride in my accomplishments, such as learning 3 languages, receiving random act of kindness awards, being an accomplished musician, of course I could go on forever. But the two most important things I must examine are: One, how I treated my fellow man, and two, did I really pursue my dreams? All the other recollections, relations, and recognitions are secondary.

For my fellow man’s sake, I want to be remembered as honest and virtuous, comforting and accepting. I pray that every person who thinks of me knows that I shook hands first and asked questions later. For my own sake, I want to look back at my life and feel a sense of accomplishment. I want to remember that I cared for my friends, loved my family, walked my dog, and brought the car back with a full tank. I want to know that I didn’t play it safe, that I did what I loved, and loved those who did it with me. And now, after 16 and a half years of living, I ask myself, am I there yet? No, not even close. The bottom line, I believe, is that you gotta live your life like you’re dyin’ tomorrow, and when tomorrow comes you’ll be grateful for today.