This I Believe

Katherine - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 15, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: hope
  • 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.

“Count your blessings.” That is what my mom tells me whenever I am feeling down. Life is difficult, but I feel the need to always stay positive, even on days when that seems completely impossible. It is my personal belief that it is extremely important to live life with a smile. This is a belief that has been instilled in me with a large amount of help from my mom. She exemplifies this admirable way of life every single day.

My dad is mentally ill, and he recently moved into a nursing home that is a few hours away from my house. I have not seen him for months, but my mom drives up to see him a few times each week. I know that this situation must be so hard for her, yet she always puts on a happy face for me and cheerfully goes on with her life. I honestly do not know how she goes through life with so much composure. If I was her, I would be a complete mess. She does not focus on the troubles our family has. Instead, my mom is always thinking about how we could help out others and how fortunate we are compared to many other people. I have learned that doing kind deeds for other people makes life more purposeful and gives me a very satisfying feeling.

It is because of my mom’s example that I also do my best to live my life positively. I almost always smile, in hopes that I can help keep other people to stay positive and smile as well. There often are days when I think there is no reason whatsoever to smile; days when the hard reality of my life really gets to me, but I have come to realize that one little smile can do so much. One little smile can completely turn someone’s day around.

I suppose my message is keep the faith. Never give up hope, and do not despair, because no matter how bad today is, better times are on the horizon.